“Alabama School Funding Under Review by Newly Launched Coalition”

A group of education and civil rights organizations are set to advocate for alterations in how Alabama funds its education system.

In a press release on Thursday introducing the coalition, it was highlighted that Alabama differs from other states by allocating funds based on enrollment rather than students’ needs.

According to a news piece by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur,and Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville,, Alabama’s education budget leaders have previously discussed the need for changes in the state’s funding mechanism.

Jason Meadows, the advocacy and partnerships director at A+ Education Partnership, expressed, “Alabama’s education funding scheme has not been reviewed for over three decades, leading to significant disparities statewide. Tailoring funding to individual student needs within each school system would offer a fairer and more effective system to provide necessary resources for student success.”

The formation of the coalition was spearheaded by A+ Education Partnership, in collaboration with several other organizations including Alabama Possible, Alabama Network of Child Advocacy Centers, Goodwill Alabama, Faith in Action Alabama, Teach for America Alabama, Huntsville Committee of 100, EmpowerED Birmingham, Birmingham Promise, Alabama Arise, New Schools for Alabama, Mobile Area Education Foundation, Black Alabamians for Education, Breakthrough Birmingham, Baldwin County Education Coalition, Inc., Alabama State Conference NAACP, Education 4 Life, Hispanic and Immigrant Center of Alabama (¡HICA!), AG Gaston Business Institute, Alabama Expanded Learning Alliance, New Life Church of God in Christ, Montgomery Education Foundation, Alabama Families for Great Schools, VOICES for Alabama’s Children, Learning Little People, LLC, and John Wilson, Chief School Financial Officer, Baldwin County Board of Education.

The coalition’s initiative, Every Child Alabama, is commencing with the launch of a 7-part educational series focusing on financing education.

The Alabama Constitution of 1901, designed to disenfranchise Black Alabamians and impoverished whites, imposes strict property tax limitations, hampering local governments’ abilities to generate sufficient funds for schools. According to the U.S. Census, Alabama’s per-pupil spending in 2022 stood at $11,819, ranking 36th nationally, while the average expenditure across the U.S. was $16,340.

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