- Cullman, Alabama


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.

Text Only
  • EDITORIAL: Primary shows maturity, will of voters

    With the local Republican Primary wrapped up, the outcome of three races may have seemed surprising to some observers.

    July 22, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Judge makes the right decision

    Many people are closely following the case of Jay Maynor, the man charged with murdering a man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

    July 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Truth and independence

    Somewhere along a colonial road between Lexington and Concord, Americans found their courage and resolve to become independent.

    July 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Taking charge with a vote

    The Democratic and Republican primaries arrive Tuesday morning across the state, with many election officials and candidates fearing a low turnout could be in store for what otherwise should be cause for a great gathering of citizens.

    June 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A state dying from drug use

    Alabama coroners, with the power to order and log results of  toxicology reports, hold the key to important information for families and law enforcement officials.

    May 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Looking beyond the standard

    Cullman County schools superintendent Billy Coleman opened a wide door of opportunity when he supported a transition to an appointed executive to lead the local education system.

    May 20, 2014

  • Editorial: Meal money violates trust

    As various local political candidates dash toward the June 3 primary, a troublesome issue remains unattended on the table.

    May 11, 2014