Thursday, October 25, 2007

State education fund down $100 million for 2008


MONTGOMERY — A cooling state economy might soon mean smaller budgets for Alabama schools and colleges.

After three years of record growth, Joyce Bigbee, executive director for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office, said growth from sales and corporate income taxes, which fund the state’s approximately $6.7 billion Education Trust Fund, began to slow this year.

Bigbee expects that budget requests for 2009 will reflect that slowdown.

The Education Trust Fund was expected to grow by 8 percent, but revenue only grew by 6 percent, Bigbee said.

That means that the fund, which pays for public K-12 education, and two- and four-year colleges, will have about $100 million less to carry into the 2008 budget.

State Department of Education Superintendent Joseph Morton and Department of Postsecondary Education Bradley Byrne will present proposed 2009 budget requests at the State School Board’s work session today.

But little could be gleaned Wednesday about how conservative those requests will be in light of the slowing economy.

See the full story here.

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