MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Senate passed a bill that will release funds to teachers for the purchase of classroom materials.
The bill, SB 257, would provide for an annual appropriation from the Education Trust Fund of $300 to each classroom teacher in public school, grades K-12.
Giving teachers the resources they need is critical to the education of Alabama students, according to Senator Greg Reed, the bill's sponsor.
"We have to support our educators. Providing money to purchase these classroom supplies is not only a critical part of that support, but it's the right thing to do," Reed said.
Previously, much of the supplies in Alabama classrooms were purchased out of pocket by the teachers. Placing that burden on teachers is unreasonable, said Senator Reed.
"No teacher should have to be without basic supplies for their classroom. We want our educators to have all the tools they need to provide a first rate education to our students," Reed said. "This bill will give them that."
Senator Gerald Allen, a co-sponsor on the bill, echoed Reed's sentiments on the importance of this bill.
"If we want Alabama to succeed in education we have to work to put the correct tools in the right hands," Allen said. "That starts with bill's like these that give educators the ability to do their Job. We are committed to our teachers and our students."
This bill is part of the legislation's larger focus on education. In addition to this bill, the senate passed SB143, last week, a bill that guaranteed pay of the $5000 salary supplement to teachers that are certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Legislation like this shows educators that they have the continued support of republican legislators, according Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner.
"Education is part of our main focus this session," Waggoner said. "We want to show educators we are dedicated to put Alabama on top in education, and that starts by supporting our teachers."