AL Teachers May Soon Pay More for Retirement Benefits

November 13, 2009 ( - The Alabama state Board of Education has voted to endorse a portion of Superintendent Joe Morton's "plan of survival" for K-12 schools.

The Birmingham News reports that the board voted to recommend freezing the state’s contribution to teachers’ health and retirement programs, and to increase from 5% to 6% the portion of teachers’ salaries deducted for retirement. The board also voted to temporarily set aside proposals that would require teachers to have 30 years of service and be 57 years old to retire, and meet the same standards to be eligible for the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, with Morton saying those proposals require more study.

The board voted unanimously to recommend to Governor Bob Riley that at least 70% of the state’s 2011 education budget be dedicated to K-12, and that a constitutional amendment be proposed to permanently base funding on enrollment. Morton said K-12 schools now enroll 76% of the state’s students, but get just 69% of state education dollars.