Alabama teachers set to receive 4% pay raise

LAMAR COUNTY, Ala. (WCBI) – When the new school year rolls around, Alabama teachers will receive something they’ve been fighting hard for, a pay raise.

Last month, state lawmakers approved a 4% pay increase for all teachers and public school employees.

The pay raises were a part of a proposed $7 billion education spending plan.

Kellen Nabors teaches and coaches at Lamar County High School and said the pay raises are much needed and long overdue.

Nabors said he’s passionate about education.

His favorite part of the job is interacting and developing relationships with each and every one of his students.

“Watching them grow, watching them develop from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, then wishing them well when they walk out the door in May,” said Nabors.

He appreciated the work his students put in, and he also appreciated the new pay hike approved by Alabama lawmakers.

“It’s a nice cushion,” described Nabors. “We don’t go into this profession for the money obviously, but it’s always nice to get a little cushion in the back pocket anytime you can for sure.”

“The 4% raise is probably the biggest raise we’ve had in the last 10 or 15 years,” said Lamar County Schools Superintendent Vance Herron.

The pay raise will bump the starting salary for teachers to over $40,000 a year.

Many educators hoped this will breathe new life into the profession.

“We will be able to attract teachers into positions that we might not have possibly been able to get them into before, which will in turn help students to get a better quality education,” said assistant principal at Lamar County High School/Vernon Intermediate School Morris Moore.

“Teachers are very appreciative to know that they are valued and it also encourages them to work harder,” said Herron.

Herron admitted it’s tough finding and keeping good teachers.

However, he was hopeful this new competitive pay could be a solution.

“In the upper-level classes such as upper-level math and science and sped-ed, it’s hard to find those quality teachers or students going into the field,” said Herron. “Hopefully this will help alleviate some of the shortage the state is having.”

With more cash flowing in, many believed the raise could have a big economic impact.

“If you have more money then you tend to spend more money, and I think that will filter down into helping the local economies,” said Moore.

The pay increase will take effect in October.

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