Student, school safety top priorities for Ala. state schools

State Superintendent talks new school year plans, expectations

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This year Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made history when she signed the state’s largest education budget to date.

In an interview with WSFA 12 News State Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey discussed how that money will help students learn and keep them safe.

“We appreciate what the leadership in Montgomery has done to see that our teachers are valuable and we want to make sure they are well paid, well resourced and have the things in the classroom they need to be successful.” said Mackey.

This year, Alabama lawmakers approved a 4 percent teacher pay raise, making Alabama one of the highest starting salaries for state teachers in the Southeastern region of the United States. Teachers also have more funding to purchase supplies for their classroom and this year expect to see new books in school libraries.

“By the end of this fiscal year you’re going to see lots of new books lining the shelves of libraries. That along with the regular supplement we will be at about $9 million for new materials this year,” said Mackey.

More money for schools also means a new focus for safety. State schools received $1 million for anti-bullying programs. About half a dozen of those programs will roll out this school year. The state school superintendent also said they are partnering with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency for one of the state’s most comprehensive safety training programs in school history.

“We know a terrorist could walk into any school or church as we’ve recently seen at shopping Malls any day but what we want to make sure of is our schools are prepared as they can be.” said Mackey.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.