State of Alabama Archives: on Education


Tommy Tuberville: Irresponsible to use tax money to pay off student loan debts

Q: Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?

A: One person should not be responsible for ever paying off someone else's student loan debts. This doesn't teach responsibility to the generations coming after us.

Source: AFA iVoterGuide on 2020 Alabama Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Doug Jones: Loan forgiveness in targets jobs and locations

Q: Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals, or student debt forgiveness?

Doug Jones: Unclear. Concerned with the racial gap in student debt, would support forgiveness for work in targeted jobs and locations. Also more apprentice

Tommy Tuberville: No. Opposes free public college and student loan forgiveness. "One person should not be paying off someone else's student loan debts. This doesn't teach responsibility."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Alabama Senate race Oct 10, 2020

Tommy Tuberville: Opposes free public college and student loan forgiveness

Q: Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals, or student debt forgiveness?

Tommy Tuberville: No. Opposes free public college and student loan forgiveness. "One person should not be paying off someone else's student loan debts. This doesn't teach responsibility."

Doug Jones: Unclear. Concerned with the racial gap in student debt, would support forgiveness for work in targeted jobs and locations. Also more apprenticeship programs.

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Alabama Senate race Oct 10, 2020

Tommy Tuberville: Educate Alabama kids about values, God, & civics

If I had a magic wand today, I'd tell the Department of Education to close your doors in Washington, D.C. I'd love for every state to have their own Department of Education because we are different than Oregon, or New York, or Texas. We want to educate our kids in the state of Alabama about values, about God, about civics, government, U.S. history. We want to know about capitalism, we could care less about socialism. Socialism doesn't work!"
Source: WHNT-19 Huntsville News on 2020 Alabama Senate race Feb 26, 2020

Chris Sununu: Obtained $26 million grant for Preschool Development

I proposed a $6 million one-time cash infusion into UNH to rebuild the Early Childhood Center of Excellence to serve as a model for the rest of the country. Unfortunately, this investment was removed from the budget by the Legislature. But the state worked with UNH and The NH Charitable Foundation to secure a $26 million federal grant for Preschool Development, which will build capacities for learning and wellbeing at home, in child care, and community based settings.
Source: 2020 Alabama State of the State address Feb 13, 2020

Chris Sununu: Compromise on student debt relief at no expense to taxpayers

Last year, I budgeted for a $160 million, ten-year investment in student debt relief that would have cost the taxpayers nothing. Unfortunately, the legislature killed that proposal, but I am hopeful we can find compromise and finally deliver this opportunity to provide student debt-relief and direct scholarships -- again, at NO expense to the taxpayer.
Source: 2020 Alabama State of the State address Feb 13, 2020

Tommy Tuberville: Laments that God and prayer taken out of school in 1960s

He lamented about God and prayer being taken out of schools in the 1960s, replacing God with metal detectors. Meanwhile, half the families have one or no parent, he said. "We don't need to push religion. This country was built on Christianity," Tuberville said. "And there are other religions here, fine. But don't try to change us. We ain't changing. Our Constitution was built on 'God We Trust.'"
Source: Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle on 2020 Alabama Sente race Feb 9, 2020

Kay Ivey: $25 million for Pre-K; $1B for public schools & colleges

We all know that a world-class workforce begins with a world-class education system. The path that leads to that starts with a solid foundation constructed during the first 5 years of life.

Just think... 95% of a child's brain develops from birth to age 5. My education budget that I am proposing will provide an additional $25 million dollars to expand our nationally-recognized First Class Pre-K program. This significant increase will expand the program by another 193 classrooms.

I am proposing a $1 billion-dollar public school and college authority for K-12 education, as well as for our two- and four-year colleges and universities. This money will be distributed on a formula basis to allow for much-needed capital improvements across the state. Equally important, this bond will not include any legislative earmarks for pet projects. It has been almost 14 years since Alabama made an investment of this size by providing direct help to our schools.

Source: 2020 Alabama State of the State address Feb 4, 2020

Kevin Stitt: Raise donations caps for fund for public and private schools

Now is the time to raise the cap on the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship to $30 million, to allow Oklahomans to be rewarded for investing their funds directly to our students and schools Increasing the tax credit cap will provide additional incentives for donors, resulting in more public-school grants and private-school scholarships.
Source: 2020 Alabama State of the State address Feb 3, 2020

Tommy Tuberville: School choice, charters, public schools are part of the mix

The best and most viable solutions come from the local level where parents, students, and local administrators can collaborate and work towards success together. And I believe that school choice, charter schools, and improving our existing public schools are all things that need to be a part of the education mix for Alabama children.
Source: 2020 Alabama Senate campaign website, TommyForSenate.com Jan 12, 2020

Tommy Tuberville: Disband U.S. Department of Education

He's calling for major change for education. "Let our state department of education decide 100 percent how we're going to handle education in this state," he said. "Take it out of Washington DC. Disband it. We don't need it anymore."
Source: ABC 33/40 on 2020 Alabama Senate race Dec 19, 2019

Tommy Tuberville: Students being indoctrinated in communism & socialism

Tuberville placed education at the top of his list. Each state should be in charge of its own education, not the federal government, he said. "We're in trouble in education," he said. "We've taken the wrong path on just basics of what we're doing. We got to make some huge changes in that because we've got more and more young people who are being indoctrinated in communism and socialism every year . Education is a key to freedom. We've got to get the kids back to appreciate the country."
Source: Sand Mountain Reporter on 2020 Alabama Senate race Dec 19, 2019

Arnold Mooney: Repeal Common Core

Mooney's website highlighted the following campaign themes:
Source: Ballotpedia.org Connection: 2020 Alabama Senate race Sep 9, 2019

Tommy Tuberville: When we took away prayer in school we killed this country

"When we took away prayer in the schools in the 1960s," Tuberville said, "we killed this country. We got to get it back." He then segues into a false representation of Islamic schoolchildren: "There's a double standard. We can't pray in schools but we got a certain religion that's come into this country and they can pray five times a day in our schools.without repercussions. But if we say the Lord's Prayer you know we get suspended, our kids get sent home. That's wrong. That's going to change."
Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2020 Alabama Senate race Aug 7, 2019

Bradley Byrne: Byrne picked to introduce Trump-backed education bill

Byrne and Sen. Ted Cruz are sponsoring the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act. This pro-school choice legislation will give students and parents the freedom to make educational decisions that are right for them. Byrne said, "I am proud to work with President Trump to advance our shared goal of expanding freedom and opportunity in education." The Trump administration chose Byrne to carry this legislation, which is a key priority for the president, in the House.
Source: Yellow Hammer News on 2020 Alabama Senate race Jul 6, 2019

Bradley Byrne: Wants private school tax credit, but supports public schools

I worked with the Trump Administration to introduce the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act developed in consultation with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Senator Ted Cruz. Our bill will create a non-refundable federal tax credit for contributions from individuals and businesses to state-identified nonprofits called Scholarship Granting Organizations.

Very important to me, the bill does not take a single penny away from public education. I know the vast majority of students attend public schools, like my children did, and I will remain steadfast in fighting for our traditional public schools, teachers, and students.

Source: Alabama Today on 2020 Alabama Senate race Mar 11, 2019

Kay Ivey: Invest in Pre-K: now more than 1000 classes

The tremendous efforts of the Department of Early Childhood Education have enabled Alabama's First Class Pre-K to be ranked as the nation's highest quality program for the 12th consecutive year! Last year, we increased funding by $18.5 million dollars, which was the largest, single-year increase ever approved. Because of that, 107 new First Class Pre-K classrooms were added last fall, which led Alabama to officially break the 1,000-classroom mark.

Alabama's teachers are vital to our students and they deserve to be the highest paid public employees in our state. That is why, I am proposing a four percent raise for all teachers: pre-k through community college! Without our teachers, our students cannot achieve success! The foundation for a strong future for all Alabamians begins in the classroom.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Alabama legislature Mar 6, 2019

Bradley Byrne: Bill allows tax credits for private K-12 scholarships

Byrne will file a major education policy bill expanding school choice nationwide. The Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act would allow a dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit, up to $5 billion nationwide, for donations made by individuals and businesses that are used as scholarships for students to choose where they attend K-12 school. Sen. Ted Cruz is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate but with a $10 billion cap on federal tax credits.
Source: Birmingham News on 2020 Alabama Senate debate Feb 28, 2019

Walt Maddox: Proposes a state lottery to transform the education system

Alabama is failing its children by not providing every child with a top-notch education and the opportunity to succeed. Without raising taxes one penny, my proposal of the Alabama Education Lottery will transform Alabama's public education system. The Alabama Education Lottery has four pillars: scholarships for higher education and workforce development, expansion of Pre-K, creation of the Promise Program to relieve funding inequities, and the creation of Community Innovation Grants.
Source: 2018 Alabama gubernatorial campaign website WaltMaddox.com Jul 4, 2018

Kay Ivey: Strong Start, Strong Finish: from pre-K to workforce

For Alabamians to have career opportunities, they must be prepared when the right job comes along. My education initiative, Strong Start, Strong Finish, does just that. Under Strong Start, Strong Finish, we will coordinate our efforts and bring all stakeholders to the table in order to improve education all the way from Pre-K to the workforce.

I instituted Strong Start, Strong Finish, because we must prepare our people for the jobs of today and for the jobs of tomorrow. By 2020, 62% of all jobs available in Alabama will require some form of postsecondary education. However, today, only 37% of our workforce has achieved such an education. We must ensure that our students graduate high school and then earn a postsecondary certificate or degree.

I'm proud to have quickly become known as a governor focused on education. Over the past nine months, I have devoted a great deal of my time to my role as president of the State Board of Education.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Alabama legislature Jan 9, 2018

Doug Jones: Supported integration of his high school in late '60s

At Fairfield High School in the late 1960s, Jones was inspired to take on soothing tensions that came with integrating his school. Darnell Gardner, a black classmate of Jones' who went on to become president of the Fairfield City Council, credits Jones with easing him into a majority-white school. "We had some guys who didn't like integration, they called me names I'd rather not repeat," he said. "But Doug was always there, he'd take care of it and act as a mediator."
Source: Newsweek magazine on 2017 Alabama special Senate race Dec 10, 2017

Roy Moore: Feds out of education; encourage vouchers

The federal government should not hamper the educational systems of the states as there is no authority for federal involvement under the Constitution. Programs like "Common Core" should be eliminated. Charter schools, vouchers, tax credits, home schooling, Christian schools, and technical training should be encouraged.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate campaign website RoyMoore.org Aug 31, 2017

Doug Jones: Invest in public schools, not private experiments

There is no doubt that the quality and funding of education in America (especially in our own state) have been uneven. Rather than abandoning these communities and schools to experiments overseen by political donors, we must commit our nation to providing first class education for children regardless of where they live. Republicans say that they believe in "equality of opportunity." It is time to provide the resources to ensure that equality.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate website DougJonesForSenate.com Aug 17, 2017

Doug Jones: Public service & Pell grants to reduce college costs

College, too, must be within economic reach of all families--without burdening a student with overwhelming debt. I support a program of public service in exchange for reduced college costs and full funding of Pell grants for students and additional research funding in the sciences and arts for the colleges themselves.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate website DougJonesForSenate.com Aug 17, 2017

Stacy Lee George: Local control but invest in teachers

Increasing parent involvement while strengthening Alabama communities is the first step in providing an industry leading education platform. Alabama must strive to set a new standard in education by treating our teachers like they deserve to be treated. We need to reevaluate the educator pay scales and adjust at a rate that will enable us to recruit and retain the best educators in the nation.
Source: 2018 Alabama Governor website StacyLeeGeorge.com Aug 17, 2017

David Carrington: Alabama needs massive increase in education spending

We must embark on a strategic path to move Alabama's K-12 education system from the bottom 10% to the top 25% in the next decade. We need to fully fund Pre-K, restore funding for the Alabama Reading Initiative, expand vocational-technical programs and fully embrace dual enrollment. In addition, we need to double-down on our workforce development efforts. This includes expanding career tech training programs and offering basic math and reading courses to the more than 500,000 Alabama working-age adults who can't escape the trap of a low paying job because they don't have a high school degree or a technical certification.
Source: Alabama governor campaign website, DavidCarrington4us.com Jul 17, 2017

Tommy Battle: Education funding top of priority list; no specific plan yet

In an interview Battle, 61, said he would prioritize job creation, education funding, and ethics reform as governor, though he said he was still developing specific plans in those areas. Battle cited efforts to improve the city's education system and infrastructure as keys to the city's recent success and said it took "hard work and shoe leather" to recruit the industries. "We've developed a model strategy to grow and prosper, and that's the same model we'll bring in state government," he said.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser on 2018 Alabama Senate race Apr 27, 2017

Roy Moore: Common Core? Education is not in the Constitution

Moore denounced federal government involvement in public education. "When the federal government starts usurping the powers of the state it's the right and the duty of its representatives to stand against that," Moore said after he was asked about Common Core curriculum standards used in Alabama and many states. "Education is not in the Constitution. It has never been in the Constitution."
Source: Birmingham News on 2017 Alabama Senate special election Apr 26, 2017

Chris Countryman: Cutting the education budget is never a solution

Alabama has struggled over the years to provide quality educational resources to students in our public schools. Currently Alabama has a graduation rate of 72%. Many politicians continue to propose cutting the state education budget in order to make room for many non-essential programs. Cutting the education budget in Alabama is never a solution when it comes to the education of students within the state.
Source: 2018 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website "testtrac2018" Mar 15, 2017

Chris Countryman: Provide funding for college outside of sports scholarhips

Our educational system has failed to provide our high school graduates with affordable tuition costs once entering college. Countless state colleges offer expensive sport scholarships to High school sports stars but are ignoring many students who have great potential, but are unable to pay for college or secure a college funding opportunity. Our students cannot be expected to compete in today's challenging job market if they are not provided with the resources that give them the tools to succeed.
Source: 2018 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website "testtrac2018" Mar 15, 2017

Marcus Bowman: Be mature enough to allow school prayer

Q: Do you support or oppose the policy, "Keep God in the public sphere"

A: Strongly support. The 1st Amendment states that while there should be no law establishing religion there also should be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thus should folks want to pray before a meeting or at school we should all be mature enough to live and let live.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Jan 21, 2016

Marcus Bowman: Vouchers help achieve the best possible education

Q: Do you support or oppose the policy, "Vouchers for school choice"

A: Strongly support. I want to see the best possible education in public and private schools and I believe vouchers help achieve that goal.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Jan 21, 2016

Ron Crumpton: Vouchers take from public education

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: Strongly disagree. It takes from public education.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Nov 26, 2015

Ron Crumpton: Our classrooms should be cathedrals: $650B to repair them

Education is the silver bullet in America. The starting point for everything that we as Alabamians want to see for our state is in the education of our children. Statistics show that the success of a state directly correlates with the education of its people.

Our classrooms should be cathedrals, our teachers of the highest caliber and all students should be given every necessary opportunity to ensure that they have the skills to be a productive member of our society.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to many experts, it will cost tax payers $300 billion just to bring our schools up to an acceptable level. That does not include the new facilities that will be necessary to meet the needs of our growing school age population. My plan for the economy would generate $65 billion per year, for the next ten years, to repair our current schools and build new schools before falling back to $30 billion a year for maintenance and to provide for future growth.

Source: 2016 Senate campaign website CrumptonForAlabama.com Jul 23, 2015

Robert Bentley: Protect religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 May 7, 2015

Bill Hightower: Protect religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; State Sen. Bill Hightower voted YES; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 May 5, 2015

Vivian Davis Figures: Undecided about religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures voted PRESENT; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 May 5, 2015

Arnold Mooney: Protect religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; State Rep. Arnold Mooney voted YES; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 Mar 11, 2015

Barry Moore: Protect religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; State Rep. Barry Moore voted YES; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 Mar 11, 2015

John Rogers: Undecided about religious expression by students in school

HB1: Student Religious Liberties Act: This bill would prohibit school districts from discriminating against a student or parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression in public schools. This bill would require school districts to allow religious expression in class assignments and artwork, and provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities.

Birmingham News analysis: [Proponents say the bill] ensures students maintain their constitutional rights, mentioning a Tennessee student who was kicked out of school for saying "bless you" after someone sneezed. [Opponents] questioned the need for the bill, saying the First Amendment already gives students this freedom.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 80-11-14, Roll #60 on Mar/11/2015; State Rep. John Rogers voted NO; Passed Senate 25-0-9, Roll #792 on May/5/2015; Signed by Gov. Bentley on May/7/2015.

Source: Birmingham News on Alabama legislative voting record HB1 Mar 11, 2015

Kay Ivey: Remove bad teachers; let students leave failing schools

The "Students First Act" Teacher Tenure Reform: Vowing to protect the state's greatest asset--the education of Alabama's children--lawmakers passed an education reform measure giving local school boards the resources to ensure the state has quality teachers in every classroom. Grants local school boards more authority to remove bad teachers and is widely supported by the state's education community as a much-needed reform.

Alabama Accountability Act- Is a historic school choice plan that invests in students by giving families with students in a failing school the opportunity to receive an income tax credit to offset the cost of transferring a student to a non-failing public or private school. The Act also empowers local control by allowing schools and school districts to enter into flexibility contracts with the State Board of Education.

Source: 2014 Alabama Lt. Governor campaign website KayIvey.org Oct 30, 2014

Gary Palmer: We need choice and local control

Several years ago, the federal No Child Left Behind law established a precedent; for the very first time, the federal government told local school districts that it must test students at certain grade levels.

Common Core builds upon this precedent. States that adopt Common Core standards will not only be required to test, they will now be told by the US Department of Education what tests their students must take.

Once fully implemented, Common Core will allow national entities to determine what students are taught at the local level. Common Core is the means by which federal bureaucrats will exercise inappropriate control over local schools.

Alabama should follow the lead of other states and back away from Common Core and develop our own high standards. We need innovation and entrepreneurship in education, not a national, top down solution. We need choice and local control--not mediocre national standards or federal bureaucrats imposing national standards.

Source: 2014 AL-6 House campaign website, PalmerForAlabama.com Sep 30, 2014

Parker Griffith: Statewide lottery to fund Alabama schools

Alabama's 8th-graders finished 50th among states in math last year. Griffith sets himself apart by calling for a lottery to help fund education. Griffith said about the 50th ranking in 8th-grade math: "It's a loud wakeup noise for us," Griffith said.

In 1999, Alabama voters rejected a lottery to pay for scholarships, pre-kindergarten and school technology. Griffith believes that voters would support a lottery now, and already buy lottery tickets in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida that fund education in those states. "We want them to stay here," Griffith said. "I think people understand that gaming is happening all around Alabama." Griffith said that pre-kindergarten would be one of the recipients of funding from his new education lottery.

Bentley said he does not think a lottery is the best way to fund government & that he would oppose earmarking such funds for specific purposes. He also said, "I have never been opposed to allowing people to vote on anything, and that includes a lottery."

Source: AL.com coverage of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial debate Sep 7, 2014

Robert Bentley: First Class Pre-K good, but only enrolls 12% of kids

Griffith and Bentley both support expanding the availability of pre-kindergarten. Alabama's voluntary pre-K initiative, First Class, started in 2000 and is well-regarded nationally. The Legislature, at Bentley's request, has doubled funding for pre-kindergarten over the last two years, to $38 million. The program has grown accordingly but still serves only about 7,400 children, about 12% of the state's 4-year-olds.

Bentley said he will ask the Legislature for another $10 million increase next year. He said the state should gradually expand it be available to all 4-year-olds statewide. "Every child would have a foundation upon which they could build," Bentley said.

The governor said statistics show the value of First Class. All of its children, for example, have gone on to become grade-level readers in third grade. Moreover, pre-K narrows the achievement gap: Low-income children who experience pre-k are less likely to struggle later.

Source: AL.com coverage of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial debate Sep 7, 2014

Parker Griffith: AdWatch: New statewide vote on school-funding lottery

Democrat Parker Griffith released a new ad this afternoon touting his promise that if elected governor he will push for a vote for a lottery to support public schools.

The 30-second spot repeats what has become a standard refrain from the Griffith campaign, namely that the only thing standing between Alabama and a brighter future is Republican Gov. Robert Bentley.

Griffith is hoping that his support for a lottery does for his campaign what it did for former Gov. Don Siegelman in 1998 when then Lt. Gov. Siegelman defeated Republican Gov. Fob James. Democrat Siegelman campaigned promising that if elected he would push for a vote on a lottery to support schools.

Siegelman won and the Legislature, then in the hands of Democrats, approved a vote for a lottery. The public overwhelmingly rejected it in 1999.

Source: AL.com AdWatch of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial race Sep 3, 2014

Robert Bentley: First Class program: voluntary Pre-K education

We must give children a chance at success even before they reach Kindergarten. We must close the achievement gap. Children and schools must be given every chance to succeed. I truly believe by allowing greater access to a voluntary Pre-K education, we will change the lives of children in Alabama.

Alabama's First Class program is nationally-recognized for its quality. Alabama is currently 1 of only 4 states in the country to meet all 10 quality benchmarks established by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The benchmarks include teacher training, staff-child ratios, support services and more. However, only 6% of Alabama's 4-year-olds are currently enrolled in the First Class program. The state also ranks a disappointing 33rd in access among the 40 states that offer pre-K programs. In order to expand access, Governor Bentley proposed additional funding for voluntary pre-kindergarten in the fiscal year 2014 Education Trust Fund.

Source: 2014 Alabama Gubernatorial website, BentleyForGovernor.com Sep 1, 2014

Robert Bentley: Allow tax credits for parents for private schools

HB84: Alabama Accountability Bill: On tax credits for families with students in failing schools to attend another public or private school and for scholarship donations

NPR analysis: Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. Democrats and teachers' groups say the bill underwent massive changes, including allowing schools to choose which students they will accept. "This is very important to very successful school systems," [one pro-school-choice advocate] says, "especially systems around Birmingham, that don't necessarily want to see a flood of students pouring over their borders and into their school system."

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-26-26 on 2/28/2013; Passed Senate 22-11-1 on 3/1/2013; Signed by Governor Robert Bentley on Mar/14/2013

Source: NPR analysis of Alabama legislative voting record HB84 Mar 14, 2013

Barry Moore: Allow tax credits for parents for private schools

HB84: Alabama Accountability Bill: On tax credits for families with students in failing schools to attend another public or private school and for scholarship donations

NPR analysis: Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. Democrats and teachers' groups say the bill underwent massive changes, including allowing schools to choose which students they will accept. "This is very important to very successful school systems," [one pro-school-choice advocate] says, "especially systems around Birmingham, that don't necessarily want to see a flood of students pouring over their borders and into their school system."

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-26-26 on 2/28/2013; State Rep. Barry Moore voted YES; Passed Senate 22-11-1 on 3/1/2013; Signed by Governor Robert Bentley on Mar/14/2013

Source: NPR analysis of Alabama legislative voting record HB84 Feb 28, 2013

John Rogers: No tax credits for parents for private schools

HB84: Alabama Accountability Bill: On tax credits for families with students in failing schools to attend another public or private school and for scholarship donations

NPR analysis: Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. Democrats and teachers' groups say the bill underwent massive changes, including allowing schools to choose which students they will accept. "This is very important to very successful school systems," [one pro-school-choice advocate] says, "especially systems around Birmingham, that don't necessarily want to see a flood of students pouring over their borders and into their school system."

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-26-26 on 2/28/2013; State Rep. John Rogers voted NO; Passed Senate 22-11-1 on 3/1/2013; Signed by Governor Robert Bentley on Mar/14/2013

Source: NPR analysis of Alabama legislative voting record HB84 Feb 28, 2013

Vivian Davis Figures: No tax credits for parents for private schools

HB84: Alabama Accountability Bill: On tax credits for families with students in failing schools to attend another public or private school and for scholarship donations

NPR analysis: Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. Democrats and teachers' groups say the bill underwent massive changes, including allowing schools to choose which students they will accept. "This is very important to very successful school systems," [one pro-school-choice advocate] says, "especially systems around Birmingham, that don't necessarily want to see a flood of students pouring over their borders and into their school system."

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-26-26 on 2/28/2013; Passed Senate 22-11-1 on 3/1/2013; State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures voted NO; Signed by Governor Robert Bentley on Mar/14/2013

Source: NPR analysis of Alabama legislative voting record HB84 Feb 28, 2013

Robert Bentley: Improving schools with a federal/state/private partnership

Governor Bentley announced results for A+ College Ready's Advanced Placement Training and Incentive program. Program schools achieved a 108% average increase in passing Advanced Placement scores. A+ College Ready is a proven investment that is preparing our students for college and the jobs of tomorrow. The funding is a public-private partnership that includes the legislature, the National Math and Science Initiative, the U.S. Department of Education and private donors.
Source: 2011 Alabama gubernatorial press release #5513 Aug 24, 2011

Robert Bentley: Give more power to school boards to make decisions

We will give flexibility to local school boards to prioritize and make decisions that affect the schools in their districts. We will remove restrictive language from legislation that dictates decisions made by these schools board and give them additional funding and flexibility so they can put the money to highest and best use.
Source: 2011 Alabama gubernatorial press release #4728 Mar 1, 2011

Robert Bentley: Though benefits will be cut, no teaching jobs will be lost

Beginning with 2012, we will ask our teachers to contribute more to their individual retirement and to health care insurance programs. We are only asking our teachers to do what virtually everyone else has been forced to do in these tough economic times. And though there will be sacrifices--I will not sacrifice one single teacher's job. Classroom sizes will not increase. There will be no cuts to the length of the school year or to contract days for teachers or support personnel.
Source: 2011 State of the State speech to Alabama legislature Mar 1, 2011

Kay Ivey: Charter Schools "plan of action" for statewide reform

We are one of only ten states left in the country without Charter Schools. So here are some of my ideas to lay out a path for Charter Schools in Alabama:
Source: 2010 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website KayIvey.org Mar 31, 2010

Kay Ivey: Charter Schools offer quality alternative to private schools

[To implement] a Charter Schools "plan of action" will require a collaborative effort. There will be certain, stiff opposition from teachers' unions and a few stubborn school boards and administrators. Existing public schools should welcome Charter Schools as an option, not a threat. Across the country, Charter Schools are helping--even saving--fragile, vulnerable students who have the most serious needs. They are also proven to reduce the shift from public schools to private schools and homeschooling.
Source: 2010 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website KayIvey.org Mar 31, 2010

Robert Bentley: Supports moment-of-silence and teacher spanking law

Source: Alabama 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Alabama Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
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Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
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Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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