Section 16-6B-10

Budget requirements for Foundation and Vocational/Technical Education Program.

(a) Foundation Program. It is the intent of the Legislature to see that funds allocated for classroom instructional support actually reach the classroom. To that end, the State Department of Education shall monitor the flow of funds appropriated for various instructional purposes. Classroom instructional support shall be defined as those funds appropriated for instructional supplies, library enhancement, textbooks, technology and professional development. The Legislature believes that the classroom instructional support funds have a direct impact upon the ability of classroom teachers to have the resources and assistance necessary to assist them in the performance of their responsibilities. School budgets for instructional supplies shall be developed within each school as is required by Section 16-1-30 relating to the adoption of school board policies. It is the intent of the Legislature that teachers shall have direct input in the development of their school's budget for classroom instructional support and in the expenditure of these funds. The Legislature realizes that teachers and principals cannot be held accountable unless they have the authority to use resources provided them by legislative appropriations. As each school's budget is developed, local boards of education shall ensure principals and classroom teachers are given the opportunity to participate in decisions concerning the appropriate use and expenditure of classroom instructional support funds. Where the principal or the teachers have not been granted the right to have direct input in the development of their school's budget or are restrained in the expenditure of instructional supply funds, they may petition the State Superintendent of Education for relief pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the State Department of Education. Because the Legislature believes classroom instructional support funds to be critically important, the following conditions will apply to the budgeting process of each local board of education:

(1) Classroom instructional materials and supplies must be budgeted for all teachers at the rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Foundation Program.

(2) Textbook funds must be budgeted for all students based on the rate appropriated per student by the Legislature in the Foundation Program.

(3) Technology funds must be budgeted for all teachers based on their rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Foundation Program.

(4) Professional development funds must be budgeted for all teachers based on the rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Foundation Program.

(5) Library enhancement funds must be budgeted for all teachers based on the rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Foundation Program. The library enhancement appropriation shall be for K-12 Public School Library/Media Centers and is an absolute appropriation. Expenditures may include books, book binding, repair, CD Roms, computer software, computer equipment, cataloging, audiovisual materials, newspapers, magazines, recordings, and video tapes.

(6) In addition to classroom instructional support, leave (sick and personal) must be budgeted for all teachers based on the number of days and the rate per day used by the Legislature in calculating the cost in the Foundation Program.

(7) The principal of a local school in consultation with the teacher(s) so affected may request a waiver from subdivisions (2) through (5). The waiver shall be presented to the local superintendent of education. Upon concurrence, the local superintendent of education shall request a waiver from the State Superintendent of Education, which application shall be deemed to be granted unless affirmatively rejected in writing by the state superintendent within 30 days of its receipt.

(b) Vocational/Technical Education Program. It is the intent of the Legislature to see that funds allocated for classroom instructional support actually reach the classroom. To that end, the State Department of Education shall monitor the flow of funds appropriated for various instructional support which shall be defined as those funds appropriated for instructional supplies, textbooks, technology, and professional development. The Legislature believes that the classroom instructional support funds have a direct impact upon the ability of classroom teachers to have the resources and assistance necessary to assist them in the performance of their responsibilities. School budgets for classroom instructional support shall be developed within each school as it is required by Section 16-1-30. It is the intent of the Legislature that teachers shall have direct input in the development of their school's budget for classroom instructional support and in the expenditure of these funds. The Legislature realizes that teachers and principals cannot be held accountable unless they have the authority to use resources provided them by legislative appropriations. As each school's budget is developed, local boards of education shall ensure classroom teachers are given the opportunity to make decisions concerning the appropriate use and expenditures of classroom instructional support funds. Where the principal or the teachers have not been granted the right to have direct input in the development of their school's budget or are restrained in the expenditure of classroom instructional support funds, they may petition the State Superintendent of Education for relief pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the State Department of Education. Because the Legislature believes classroom instructional support funds to be critically important, the following conditions will apply to the budgeting process of each local board of education:

(1) Classroom instructional materials and supplies must be budgeted for all teachers at the rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Vocational/Technical Education Program.

(2) Textbook funds must be budgeted for all students based on the rate appropriated per student by the Legislature in the Vocational/Technical Education Program.

(3) Professional development funds must be budgeted for all teachers based on the rate appropriated per teacher unit by the Legislature in the Vocational/Technical Education Program.

(4) In addition to classroom instructional support, leave (sick and personal) must be budgeted for all teachers based on the number of days and rate per day used by the Legislature in calculating the cost in the Vocational/Technical Education Program.

(5) The principal of a local school in consultation with the teacher(s) so affected may request a waiver from subdivisions (2) and (3). The waiver shall be presented to the local superintendent of education. Upon concurrence, the local superintendent of education shall request a waiver from the State Superintendent of Education, which application shall be deemed to be granted unless affirmatively rejected in writing by the state superintendent within 30 days of its receipt.

(Acts 1995, No. 95-313, p. 620, §10; Act 98-320, p. 544, §12.)