Teaching in Alabama
The governor and legislature of Alabama are working on several reforms for the state public school system, believing that better schools are the key to a better economy. If they are right, Alabama teachers have a significant role to play in not only the state, but the national economic recovery. Recent economic difficulties have presented quite a challenge to the state’s budget, but plans to tighten belts and increase flexibility among schools are being debated to make sure Alabama’s public schools are established and on the right course.The first proposal is for an expansion of charter schools in the state. Proposed legislation looks to authorize charter schools first in underserved areas and failing school districts, to provide additional educational options and increase accountability. Additional legislation seeks to increase public school districts’ flexibility, moving many educational decisions from the state to the local level. This would give local schools more opportunity to innovate and develop better educational strategies and curriculum. In exchange, schools would submit to greater accountability for student achievement. Two other proposed reforms directly affect teachers. The first, a response to complaints that teachers had to buy school supplies with their own money, is to increase the tax credit for such expenses from $134 to $300. The second and more debated proposal is to change the teacher evaluations to include student achievement. Currently, Alabama teachers’ performance is rated on certain areas of support and professional development, without reference to students’ achievement. But while the proposed legislation would change how teachers are evaluated, it will not change their pay schedule. Meanwhile, some debate continues over a teacher-related law passed last year. In response to teacher complaints that union dues were being used for political activities they did not support, Alabama passed a law prohibiting payroll deduction of dues for groups that used the money for political purposes. While some unions were unaffected by this law, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) has sued over the matter. As of March 2012, the Appeals Court has referred the matter to the state Supreme Court, stating that the law is valid if the AEA has indeed been campaigning. The AEA regularly prepares briefs on how they advise teachers to vote on political issues, but argues that this is an informational activity as opposed to political electioneering.Benefits packages for Alabama teachers include health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance. Additionally, teachers enroll in the state’s Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). Teachers may retire with full benefits at the age of 60 after 10 years’ service, or at any age (even as young as 50) if they’ve taught for 25 years. Several organizations in Alabama are devoted to teacher development, and to providing educational resources to Alabama teachers. These organizations often publish and discuss research on teaching programs and techniques, and often offer classroom activities or curriculum supplements to improve teachers’ classrooms.
- What’s the educational climate in Alabama?
- How’s the job outlook for Alabama teachers?
- What benefits do Alabama teachers have?
- What are the credentialing requirements in Alabama?
- Find schools offering Masters in Education programs in Alabama
What’s the educational climate in Alabama?The Alabama legislature is considering several proposals this year to improve the state’s education. Submitted by Governor Robert Bentley in January 2012, the proposals represent his goal of developing a more skilled workforce for the state, in turn prompting economic recovery.
Average Salaries for Alabama Teachers
- Elementary School: $48,470
- Middle School: $49,480
- Secondary School: $45,660
- All Alabama Jobs: $39,180