Relative to other states, Alabama does not spend much on its education system. In fact, according to 2014 information from the Census Bureau, Alabama ranks in the bottom 15 among the states when it comes to spending on public education.
Based on the data, Alabama spends on average $9,028 per pupil enrolled. This is quite a bit less than the national average of $11,009 per student. Of this $9,028, the bulk of it, over one-third, goes to salaries for teachers. When one adds in benefits, like pensions, the payroll takes up about 50%, or $4,500, of the amount of money being spent per child.
To be fair, those states where the cost of living is higher overall also have to spend more on salaries and public education more generally. That is simply part of the reality of economics. However, many states where the cost of living comparable to that of Alabama manage to devote more of their public funds to education.
As this blog has discussed before, students in the Mobile area who qualify are entitled to have the resources they need so that they can have an education despite suffering with a disability. However, contrary to popular belief, the federal government does not front most of the money for providing special education services. This financial responsibility is largely left to the states and to local school boards.
Particularly in a state like Alabama, where funds are tight, local school officials may be tempted to put a fight about providing special education services in large part because of their bottom line. Should a Mobile parent suspect this is happening to their special needs student, they may want to seek out the advice of someone with experience in special education law.