Educators all over the state are scrambling this afternoon (August 4) to head off what they see as a $225 million hit to the Education Trust Fund. The senate general fund budget committee voted 8-6 today to give a bill moving revenue from use taxes from ETF to the general fund beginning with the new budget year October 1. Presently there is no plan to replace this money with revenue from another source.
The bill is expected to be voted on by the full Senate tomorrow.
Senators voting for the measure were: Greg Albritton, Clyde Chambliss, Tim Melson, Paul Sanford, Larry Stutts, Jabo Waggoner, Cam Ward and Arthur Orr.
Nay votes were: Billy Beasley, Priscilla Dunn, Bill Holtzclaw, Steve Livingston, Trip Pittman and Bobby Singleton.
Earlier today state superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice sent an alert to educators. It spread like a California forest fire. A mother in Shelby County copied Bice’s message from a local Facebook page and passed it along. Amy Bryan, Butler County school superintendent, sent a spread sheet showing that if this bill is passed it will cost her small system from $720,000 to $900,000.
(An interesting sidebar. Senator Greg Albritton of Conecuh County was firmly in support of having Governor Bentley appoint Matt Brown to the State Board of Education. Albritton voted against education in committee today. Wonder if SBOE member Brown is now trying to get the good senator to change his vote by tomorrow.)