Lawmakers Debate New School Bill, Radio Ad Via Facebook

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By Ashley Thompson

Two state lawmakers go back and forth on Facebook about a new radio ad campaign by the Alabama Education Association.

The ad targets the recently passed bill that gives tax credits to parents moving their children from failing public schools to private schools but the ad has some people up in arms.

Senator Bryan Taylor spoke out against it on his Facebook page, writing in part, 'The only purpose for AEA's radio ad campaign is to try to mount pressure on Gov. Bentley to veto the bill.' Senator Taylor also writes of Alabama's low-ranking schools, something he says needs improvement.

"I think people in Alabama are tired of Alabama ranking 48th, 49th, and 50th every year in the country in education," he says. "I know I'm tired of it and it's time we do something new."

Although Representative Joe Hubbard says he'd too like to do something new to help failing schools, he says the recently passed bill is not the solution. He responded to Taylor's Facebook post by writing in part "The Association of the School Board, the Association of Superintendents, and the State Superintendent Tommy Bice all agree this is a bad bill for public education.' Representative Hubbard says Bice's condemnation of the bill speaks volumes.

"I think Superintendent Bice understands that we have already underfunded our public schools too much as it is and when we start pulling money out of the public schools and sending them to parents to pay for private schools, that is no way to encourage a failing school to get better."

Hubbard says the real problem is the lack of funding for Alabama's public schools.

"Our school systems in the state are one of the most underfunded in the country," he continues. "Senator Taylor can talk all day long about coming in 47th, 48th, and 49th in education. You can't expect much better when our funding is 47th, 48th, and 49th."

But still, Senator Taylor says the new ad is nothing but propaganda.

"They have mounted a misinformation campaign with distorted facts, overblown political rhetoric and they're trying to scare the people Alabama," says Taylor. "AEA Boss Henry Mabry doesn't send his kids to failing public schools, what makes him think the rest of us should have to?"

A Montgomery judge recently blocked the Governor from signing the bill after a lawsuit was filed by the Alabama Education Association. The Alabama Supreme Court is now reviewing the case.




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