CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Editorials

March 15, 2013

EDITORIAL: Parents gain an option

CULLMAN — Gov. Robert Bentley wasted little time in signing the state’s first tax credits for private school attendance into law after the Alabama Supreme Court granted permission.

The controversial measure was held up briefly by a Montgomery circuit judge after a challenge was filed by the Alabama Education Association. Even with the governor moving forward with the bill, a future legal challenge is inevitable.

The AEA, long a powerful force in the state’s political scene, is infuriated with the bill because it will allow parents to move their children to private schools, along with a tax credit, if the local public school is failing.

While there are legitimate questions about how this bill will eventually impact funding for the state’s most troubled public schools, the AEA’s main concern has nothing more at its core than employment for public school teachers. Any concern the organization expresses about the quality of education or education reform can be digested with a grain of salt.

The way in which this bill was passed can be argued from several viewpoints. Some observers think it was sneaky to slip in the tax credit at the last minute. Others are applauding the effort because it blatantly ignores the AEA’s traditional influence over the lawmaking process in Montgomery.

The positive points in this bill include allowing local school boards to reach higher education standards by having more flexibility in meeting the usual regulations from the state level, and that parents can finally have an option to get their children away from schools that continually fail to do a good job.

Crying out about the loss of money for public schools comes late in the game. Many well-intended efforts to bring reforms aimed at higher standards in education have been cast aside through the years because of the inflexibility and influence of the AEA.

While the bill that Gov. Bentley signed may have some flaws, it at least places some alternatives in the hands of tax-paying parents across the state.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • EDITORIAL: Gaining a lifetime of success

    The arguments for a deeper investment in the arts for public school children are overwhelmingly favorable. The money is simply not following the logic.

    April 6, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Gun bill backfires

    State Sen. Scott Beason, a Gardendale Republican, who will soon vacate his seat, is feeling a sense of disappointment that his bill to allow Alabamians to carry loaded handguns in their cars without a concealed weapon permit was shot down this week.

    April 5, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Above and beyond

    The announcement of the annual Distinguished Citizen and Unsung Heroes recipients by The Cullman Times has revealed another lineup of caring people who go the extra mile in building a better local community.

    April 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A chance to lead growth

    In an era that concluded about a generation ago, residents of any average town or city in America had pretty much one destination for shopping.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Out of date, out of time

    The Alabama State Constitution, one of the nation’s oldest at 113 years old, continues to linger despite a wide range of efforts to completely rewrite the document.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A private matter on display

    Following the arguments generated by legalized abortion leave many people in this generation walking away from the issue with a sense of confusion.

    April 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Drug policy sensible, needed

    Cullman City School officials’ decision to slow plans for implementing a student drug testing program was reached after a series of public input meetings.

    April 1, 2014

  • Rage against the weather

    A lot of things can be predicted in life. Economic downturn. A sour reaction to a bill in Congress or the president’s State of the Union address.

    February 3, 2014

  • A legacy protected by truth

    The holiday commemorating the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. passed with various celebrations and speeches across the nation.

    January 21, 2014

  • Ignoring the state’s needs

    Two points about the Alabama budget process are coming to light, and both are disturbing.
    With the Legislature in session, reports are already showing that lawmakers will have more money to spend on education and less for all the other vital state services that fall under the strained General Fund.

    January 20, 2014