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Ivey makes pay raises for teachers and state employees official
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Ivey makes pay raises for teachers and state employees official

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MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 188, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr and Rep. Bill Poole, into law, making teacher pay raises official. She also put her signature on House Bill 320 for state employee pay increases.

During her state of the state address, Governor Ivey proposed a 2 percent pay increase for the state’s K-12 and higher education officials, as well as state employees, citing the fact that Alabama’s teachers rose to the challenges of this past year and state employees maintained functions of government amidst the pandemic.

Upon the successful passage by the Alabama Legislature and her signature making it official, Ivey offered the following statement:

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it reinforced what we already knew – teachers are vital to our student’s learning, and our state employees keep government services operational for the people of Alabama. I am proud to sign this well-deserved pay increase to our educators and state workers. I commend Education Trust Fund chairmen Sen. Arthur Orr and Rep. Bill Poole, General Fund chairmen Sen. Greg Albritton and Rep. Steve Clouse, along with the entire Alabama Legislature for their hard work and for approving this raise. It is both fiscally wise and simply the right thing to do after a hard year.

“As we head into the summer months, and the pandemic continues to ease, we need to do everything we can to support our teachers and educational support staff to ensure that we can fully return to classrooms in the fall. Alabama schools have shown the rest of the nation that it is possible to be safely back in the classroom, while carrying on the important work of providing Alabama’s children a chance for a promising future. I look forward to continually offering my support to ensure that Alabama students remain on track and moving ahead.”

Ivey signs Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Sciences (TEAMS) salary schedule program

On Thursday, Ivey signed into law the Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) Salary Schedule Program, an aggressive piece of legislation to combat the estimated 3,000 unfilled math and science teacher positions in 6-12 grade classrooms across Alabama. Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, well-trained and educated middle and high school math and science teachers could earn up to $15,000 in additional pay each year.

“The quality of education in this state, particularly in rural, hard-to-staff areas, has to be solved to properly prepare our children for their futures in an ever-increasing STEM-based economy,” said Governor Ivey, who is herself a former teacher. “With TEAMS, we are placing emphasis on attracting both in-state and regional teachers in key subjects to move the needle in Alabama school systems.”

The TEAMS program – introduced in the Senate by Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Alan Baker (R-Brewton) will provide incentive pay for interested and qualifying math and science teachers.

“In Alabama, our state takes a lot of pride in being number one in college football, yet we have settled far too long with being at or near the bottom in math and science scores,” said Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva). “The TEAMS Act will allow Alabama to recruit more math and science teachers and enroll current teacher into the TEAMS program. This bill is a step in the right direction in preparing our state to remain competitive in recruitment of STEM jobs of the 21st century. I look forward to seeing the positive improvements this will provide students in the future.”

Each district can accept one TEAMS math and one TEAMS science teacher to participate in the program per 105 grade 6-12 students in the system — equating to roughly 7,000 teachers statewide. Prospective program teachers can apply to their district for a TEAMS position if they:

Hold a valid regular or alternate certificate for middle level and secondary math, science or computer science courses.

Teach courses in mathematics or science in grades 6-12.

Teach full time in mathematics or science, or both.

Complete no less than four days of annual, high-quality Professional Development.

“The TEAMS Act is an aggressive and innovative investment to attract and reward highly credentialed math and science teachers in public schools,” Rep. Alan Baker said.

Within three years of admission to the program, TEAMS teachers must receive a specialized certification or credential from the National Institute for STEM Education, the National Board of Professional Teacher Standards (Early Adolescence or Early Adolescence and Young Adulthood Math or Science), or other program as developed by the Department of Education. Three extra years are allowed for those with insufficient experience, such as new teachers, recent college graduates, etc.

Upon program entry, teachers will receive a $5,000 bonus and will earn another $5,000 upon program completion. Additionally, an annual supplement of $5,000 will be paid to those teaching in Alabama Department of Education-identified hard-to-staff schools.

Those interested can apply for Alabama’s Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) Salary Schedule Program by contacting the Alabama Department of Education at (334) 694-4900.

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