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SBOE Discusses ETF FY24 Budget, Numeracy Act and Proposed Graduation Requirement Updates

August 11, 2022, SBOE Meeting & Work Session


SBOE Discusses ETF FY24 Budget, Numeracy Act and Proposed Graduation Requirement Updates

By Bart Reeves
AASB Associate Executive Director for Governmental Relations

The State Board of Education reviewed the FY24 ETF budget request Thursday, August 11. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Brandon Payne presented the FY24 budget line by line, while State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey facilitated discussion with board members. Mackey said the preliminary budget is based on staff requests and asked board members to provide feedback and then discuss budget items with superintendents in their districts. Mackey said the board will hold its formal budget discussion during the September work session and added that some budget figures presented Thursday could be adjusted based on SBOE suggestions and input from AASB and School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA. The budget must be approved in October to meet the November 1 deadline for submission to the governor. 

The FY24 ETF budget request totaled $6,068,241,762 with an increased of $799,415,298 from FY23. (View budget request)

  • Principal Development (NEW): Alabama Teacher Growth Program - $5 million to develop online modules providing principals and assistant principals training to administer the Alabama Teacher Observation Tool (ATOT); Leadership Academy Expansion - $2 million to develop statewide leadership academy and support for all principals and assistant principals. 
  • Alabama Numeracy Act: $5 million to hire new Office of Math Improvement regional support specialists and math coaches
  • Alabama Reading Initiative: $8 million to cover the previous cost of living adjustments for over 800 local and regional reading specialists, implement an incentive plan for proficiency growth and provide additional support for high-quality professional development including LETRS training
  • Foundation Program: $586 million to: adjust divisors for teachers adding 4,063 units; adjust ADM (Average Daily Membership) factor for earned counselor units adding 1,444 counselors; increase extension multiplier for school-based administration and counseling; increase OCE (Other Current Expenses) by $100 million, giving superintendents and school boards flexibility to spend OCE funds to meet local needs, including safety
  • Mental Health Coordinators: $1.3 million to increase funded coordinators from 113 to 146 to cover all LEAs
  • Office of School Improvement: $950,000 to hire secondary literacy coaches, elementary math specialists and school turnaround specialists.  
  • Arts Education: $1.3 million to provide competitive grants, professional development and part-time teaching units to schools who lack resources to offer high-quality arts instruction
  • Schools Nurses: $10 million
  • Transportation – Fleet Renewal: $18 million to allow for the increase of per bus replacement
  • Transportation – Operations: $109 million for operational cost in fuel, parts and labor. 

Numeracy Act Update

Mackey announced that ALSDE has hired Karen Anderson as the new Director of the Office of Mathematics Improvement. Anderson is expected to join the SBOE for its annual retreat later this month. Mackey also provided an update on the most recent appointments to the Elementary Math Task Force which has met once virtually and is scheduled to meet again in October. School districts that are eligible for math coaches will be notified in January so they can make plans to hire in the summer, Mackey added. Level one schools, which have the lowest math scores as identified on the ACAP, will be first to receive funding for math coaches.

CCR as Graduation Requirement

The SBOE announced its intent to adopt Amended Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02, pertaining to Regulations Governing Public Schools, which would require students to earn a College and Career Readiness indicator as a graduation requirement. Mackey and board members said they have received positive feedback about adding CCR as a requirement to graduate high school. The board will consider action next month.  If intent to adopt is approved in September, the proposed rule will be voted in November.  Mackey said keeping school counselors informed about the status of the potential rule adoption is key so they can help 8th grade students with their four-year plans next spring. 

Other Work Session Highlights

  • Payne shared the ALSDE’s proposed 2023 operational budget, with the biggest change reflected in the addition of a Numeracy Office as prescribed in the Numeracy Act.  
  • ALSDE PowerSchool Program Coordinator Stacy Royster presented an update on the state’s first-year PowerSchool implementation and what to expect in year two. She said it will likely take about three years before LEAs and employees fully grasp the program’s robust reporting capabilities.
  • ALSDE staff Laura Bailey and Cathy Lankford presented an overview of the Alabama Career Development Model designed to introduce students to careers throughout their K-12 education experience while providing them with knowledge, skills and abilities to be engaged, employable citizens.

Board Meeting Updates 

  • Administrative Code Rule pertaining to School Facilities: Approval of Construction: The board adopted an amended Alabama Administrative Code rule changing permit and inspection requirements for school facilities. The rule change now aligns the code with a bill passed last year and recently amended in the 2022 legislative session allowing school systems to bypass the Division of Construction Management for projects costing less than $750,000, including roofing or HVAC improvements. The law becomes effective Oct 1, 2022.  
  • Alabama Public Charter School Commission nominee: The board approved Ryan Kendall to serve on the Alabama Charter School Commission. Kendall, along with Ryan Cantrell, both were both nominated by Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed for board consideration. Pursuant to the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act (Act 2015-3), the Senate President Pro Tempore is required to submit to the board a recommended list of nominees.  
  • 2022 Robert L Moron Award: The board approved a resolution commending Christy Mead, Albertville City School System, recipient of the 2022 Robert L. Morton Award, State School Board District 6.

Next Board Meeting

The board’s next meeting will take place Sept. 8, 2022, at 10 a.m. in Montgomery with a work session immediately following.

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