Riley making biggest cuts in education in 48 years


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Declining state tax collections have forced Gov. Bob Riley to announce massive cuts in state spending.

Public education is taking its biggest hit in 48 years and many state agencies looking at double-digit reductions.

Riley declared proration -- or across-the-board spending cuts -- of 12.5 percent for the $6.3 billion education. Riley said he would use half of the state's $437 million "rainy day" fund to ease the cuts and make the effective proration rate 9 percent.

The cut in the fiscal 2009 education budget would be the biggest cut since education spending was prorated 14.1 percent in fiscal 1961. Since then, the biggest proration has been 6.5 percent in fiscal 1991.

State law does not allow a reduction in school salaries. That means the reductions will have to come out of non-salary expenditures.

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