There are good things happening in education within the state of Alabama, but overall, the quality of education in this state lags behind the rest of the country.
In the past, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) claimed they were an organization that fought for quality education, but the results of their decades of control on the state, and the Alabama Democratic Party, were hardly anything to write home about.
Now, the AEA is in a completely different position. They are the adversary and the loyal opposition, and they are out of power.
The late Paul Hubbert, who ran the AEA and Democratic Party with an iron fist, is long gone. His predecessor, Henry Mabry, oversaw a wipeout of the AEA’s allies in elected office. No one reading this even knows what unfortunate soul is leading this weakened, but still relevant organization in 2019.
Legislators in the past feared the AEA, but now they are hardly aware of their existence outside of an active email list and subservient “journalists” who are trying to relive their glory days as the sun goes down.
The 2019 AEA is stuck in neutral, at best, they are seen as an annoyance and nothing more.
Recently, Alabama State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) announced that there would be an increase in funding to recruit charter schools to give interested parents more options for their children’s educations.
The quadrupling of their funding will allow $400,000 to recruit new schools, but Marsh highlighted part of the problem with the AEA by pointing out that some of those resources will have to be used to fight the AEA as they sue the state over the creation of charter schools.
Another organization just received a $25 million federal grant to attract charter schools to the state which could bring in 15 additional charter schools.
Will the AEA support them? No, they will fight them. They will fight them at every step.
They could put them in the worst school districts, and they would be opposed.
They could put them in the best school districts, and they would be opposed.
The AEA’s opposition to these programs is based on nothing except fear of competition. They, of course, claim they support “good charter schools,” but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to back that up.
The AEA sues charter school startups.
The AEA applauds when charter schools are stalled.
Does the AEA actually support charter schools? No.
Does the AEA support vouchers? No.
Does the AEA support school choice? No.
The AEA is an advocate for their members, and that is fine, but they do not seem like they are not good advocates for education and seem to have no desire to change that.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.