Bill expands use of school tech funds

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

A bill introduced in the Senate would expand how schools can use their Advancement and Technology Fund money.

The fund was created in the Rolling Reserve Act which caps the annual education budget. In good years, some of the excess money goes back to schools in the form of Technology and Advancement Fund dollars. The fund is never guaranteed and the amounts vary.

“It’s become a bit of a piggy bank (for schools),” Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said in committee Wednesday. Permissible non-recurring uses for silver include insurance, transportation, technology, and security measures. d’Orr Senate Bill 175 adds “down payment” to permitted uses of funds.

“This change could give residents additional flexibility to use A and T funds to cover cost overruns on capital projects to be funded with their bond proceeds,” Orr told Alabama Daily News.

“It would allow schools to buy the computers and hardware they need, not just bricks and mortar.”

Allocations proposed later this year total $76.5 million for higher education and $205.7 million for K-12.

The allocation offered by each school in this fiscal year can be viewed in a supplemental bill waiting in the Chamber.

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