Larry Lee is one of the staunchest supporters of public schools in Alabama. A few years ago, he criss-crossed the state and identified 10 rural schools that were doing everyday miracles for their children and their communities because of the hard work and dedication of teachers, principals, and families, all doing their best for their children.
He sent me the following urgent message:
These are dark days for public education in Alabama. Since the legislature changed hands in 2010, things have gone steadily downhill.
Take a look:
* A bill to have A-F school grades, a practice intended solely to be punitive and a practice that research does not support.
* The Alabama Accountability Act that has now diverted $72 million from the Education Trust Fund for vouchers for private schools. A law that failed utterly in its stated mission to “help; poor students stuck in failing schools by their zip code.
* A bill to establish charter schools which cuts into already under-funded public schools funding.
* A bill known as the RAISE Act that would have forced teachers to be evaluated with the highly controversial Value Added Model.
* A bill intended to set up Education Savings Accounts that would have diverted more funding from the Education Trust Fund.
Instead of seeking input from professional educators, legislators are listening to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Jeb Bush foundations and Alabama special interests. In fact, the Senate majority leader boasted after passing the Accountability Act in 2013 that this bill was purposely hidden from educators because “they would have opposed it.”
Now, to add insult to injury the state board of education, the body that should be the first line of defense for public education, has turned its back on our children by hiring an attorney from Massachusetts to be state school superintendent. They ignored Alabama code and even their advertised required qualifications and put their own ideology and political ambitions ahead of the 740,000 children in Alabama public schools
Because of this, a group of 40 plaintiffs, including former local superintendents, principals, teachers, school board members, parents, local elected officials, a former college president and a former U.S. Congressman have joined together to seek legal action against the state school board.
They have said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and formed the Alabama Public School Defense Fund to wage this battle.
Please join in standing up for our children by going to this site and contributing today.
Education Is Everyone’s Business