Every August marks a transition for parents and their children across the country. As we say goodbye to a great summer and welcome a brand new school year, I look forward to reconnecting with you about how I can work for you in Montgomery to support our schools, parents, teachers, and students.
The future of Alabama is only as strong and secure as our schools are today. That’s why I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to boost local schools and my work to secure an additional $13 million in education dollars for the nation’s premier Pre-K program here at home. Each year, we have been able to quickly grow this program so that every Alabama family who wants to participate in Pre-K will have the opportunity to do so. This issue will continue to be one of my top priorities.
This year, the Alabama Senate approved a $6.6 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, which starts October 1, and a 2.5% pay raise for teachers and education support personnel. It is the largest education budget since the great recession of 2008. This is a sustainable, fiscally-responsible budget that allows schools to plan ahead for the future. For almost a decade straight, the Republican-led Senate has passed budgets that will not go into proration and provide certainty to our administrators and teachers.
Please share with me your thoughts on how we can work together to strengthen our schools and provide the best opportunities to our future leaders in East Alabama. As always, it’s a pleasure to serve you in the Alabama Senate and I look forward to your vote and support in November. Please call me with any concerns that you have. Thanks!

Tom Whatley