Criticism and applause for new education raise

How much of an impact will 2-percent teacher pay raises make?

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation giving all education employees, including two-year college employees, a 2% pay raise.

The raise is part of a historical budget set to begin Oct. 1, fiscal year 2022.

The move drawing criticism and applause.

The average pay for a public school teacher is around $55,000. according to salary.com. Add on a 2% raise and you’re looking at an additional $1,100 a year or about $91.67 extra per month, before taxes.

Some people say it’s not enough and only covers inflation. One teacher says -- with her pay-- she’ll only see about 50-dollars extra. Another said the raise should be a minimum of 6-percent.

William Tunnell with the Alabama Education Association says this is a way for lawmakers to add value to education.

“We feel the economy is strong. The economy can provide more for educators. Here’s what’s very important to understand, the baseline is 2-percent. Depending on where you are on the teacher salary scale, that pay raise will indeed be higher than 2%,” Tunnell said.

Tunnell said there were inaccuracies on the salary pay scale that AEA has been working to have corrected.

“There’s a particular rate of increase for several years and then that rate of salary increase flattens out and so that needed to be corrected. This was a year the legislators had an appetite to do so and we’re thankful for them for doing that. So, right around that 9-year mark and on upwards, educators with that long amount of longevity will see larger than that 2%,” Tunnell explained.

The legislation does not affect education retirees. For now, their pension checks will remain the same.

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