EDUCATION OF ALABAMA


Primary and secondary education

Public primary and secondary education in Alabama is under the overview of the Alabama State Board of Education as well as local oversight by 67 county school boards and 60 city boards of education. Together, 1,541 individual schools provide education for 743,364 elementary and secondary students.

Public school funding is appropriated through the Alabama Legislature through the Education Trust Fund. In FY 2006–2007, Alabama appropriated $3,775,163,578 for primary and secondary education. That represented an increase of $444,736,387 over the previous fiscal year. In 2007, over 82 percent of schools made adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward student proficiency under the National No Child Left Behind law, using measures determined by the state of Alabama. In 2004, 23 percent of schools met AYP.

While Alabama's public education system has improved, it lags behind in achievement compared to other states. According to U.S. Census data, Alabama's high school graduation rate – 75% – is the second lowest in the United States (after Mississippi). The largest educational gains were among people with some college education but without degrees.

Colleges and universities
Alabama's programs of higher education include 14 four-year public universities, numerous two-year community colleges, and 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities. The state is home to two medical schools (University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of South Alabama), a dental school (University of Alabama at Birmingham), an optometry college (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and five law schools (University of Alabama School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Miles Law School, and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law). Public, post-secondary education in Alabama is overseen by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Colleges and universities in Alabama offer degree programs from two-year associate degrees to 16 doctoral level programs. Accreditation of academic programs is through the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges as well as a plethora of subject focused national and international accreditation agencies

Luciano Mende

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