published Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Alabama House budget seeks to do away with teacher bonus

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A House committee will consider a new version of the education budget that does away with a teacher bonus and instead puts the money toward education employees' health insurance.

Budget committee chairman Rep. Bill Poole says a pay raise won't help educators if they have to pay every dime, plus some extra, to higher health premiums.

The budget committee will consider the proposal on Wednesday.

A lawyer for the state says the extra funding should avoid any substantial increases in insurance costs.

However, the head of the state teachers' association criticized Republican legislators' budgeting choices.

Alabama Education Association Executive Secretary Henry Mabry says school employees went many years without raises while paying more for retirement and health benefits.

Gov. Robert Bentley is seeking a 2 percent raise for school employees.

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