County schools awarded $105K

Published 8:40 pm Monday, March 12, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Gov. Bob Riley announced last week that his administration would be releasing $17 million to Alabama's public schools to help pay for a variety of different needs, ranging from basic toiletry items to utilities.
Escambia County's public school system was awarded $105,303 and according to Superintendent William Hines, the money will be used to pay for employees.
"The money is going to be used for salaries," Hines said. "It will pay for about three salaries."
Hines said the money is based on units earned and Escambia County had earned 300 teacher units.
"That money is based on $352 per fiscal year 2007 earned units," he said. "We earned 300 teacher units. We are going to use the money as salary units."
The overall funding for the State of Alabama was incorporated in this year's educational budget as conditional appropriation. The release of the money was dependent upon whether the Education Trust Fund had sufficient revenues. That revenue level was reached and the $17 million was released into public school systems across Alabama. The distribution to different school systems depends on the amount of state-funded teachers it has.
Riley said in a press release that our economy is strong and because of that, the Education Trust Fund can sufficiently assist schools across the state.
"Because our economy is strong, we're experiencing record growth in the Education Trust Fund and can help schools all across Alabama," Riley said.
Riley also said it is important to keep in mind that funding for education is not possible unless the economy steadily grows.
"We must always remember that more funding for education isn't possible unless we have a growing economy," he said. "And the economic growth plan we'll consider in special session next week and the tax incentives I'll be proposing in the regular session will help sustain our economy and result in additional funding for schools."
The overall $17 million was included in the educational budget under the "Other Current Expenses" grouping. This category is used for schools to cover essential expenses that are not otherwise allocated in the budget. This additional $17 million brings the "Other Current Expenses" total to $751.8 million.
"This money helps us out greatly, instead of that money coming out locally it's coming from the state," Hines said.

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