State Budget May Limit Expansion of Successful AP Program

The Education Trust Fund budget introduced recently by the House budget committee recommends level funding for Alabama’s Advanced Placement (AP) program of $2.27 million, while the Senate version includes the Alabama State Department of Education’s requested $1.5 million increase that Dr. Bice included in his proposed budget. The increase would allow the AP program – which has shown remarkable results in diverse schools systems across the state – to expand to 21 additional schools next year.
Alabama’s Advanced Placement program was among the first in the nation to receive funding for AP implementation from the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI), and is often cited as a model for advanced placement implementation.  Remarkably, the state leads the entire nation in the rate of growth for success on math science and English AP exams over the last four years.

The AP Program, administered by the ALSDE in partnership with A+ College Ready, currently serves 76 schools in 34 school districts serving over 16,000 students in math, science and English advanced placement courses.  If increased funding is available, the plan for 2013-14 is to bring on 21 more Program schools which collectively will add:

  • 57 new AP math, science & English courses
  • 2,569 additional students enrolled in AP math, science & English courses
  • 1,008 qualifying scores on AP math, science & English courses (school goals) resulting in $1.8 Million in tuition savings to Alabama families if goals are achieved

The program costs estimated for 2013-14 are just over $5.4 million. Since the NMSI grant ends this year, the increased funding of $1.5 million recommended by ALSDE is needed to continue serving current schools in the program, and to expand into new schools.

Additional investments will also be made by the private sector through contributions and grants to help fully fund the program.

“We are working hard with our school partners and business community members who value this program to ensure our expansion is fully supported,” said Boehm. “We urge the Alabama legislature to consider increasing its investment for this program as it has proven its value and potential returns for our state.  Alabama can ensure its prosperity and develop needed  human capital at home if more of our students achieve at the higher levels of knowledge and skills needed for the high-tech, global economy.”