For some reason the popular consensus in Alabama politics is that now-Governor Kay Ivey single-handedly killed the Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition in cold-blood. That would be impressive if it were true, but it is not. But this is politics, and sometimes the ends justify the means. Ivey’s opponent, Mayor Tommy Battle of Huntsville is seizing on this widespread perception with a new attack on Governor Ivey:
Why this matters:
Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program was not prepaid, affordable, nor did it cover college tuition. It was a boondoggle passed in 1989 (14 years before Ivey entered public office) that did not take into account tuition hikes, stock market fluctuations, reality, or Alabama’s lack of unicorns. If everything worked perfectly, every child involved would be GUARANTEED a paid-in-full college tuition when it started. This was in the original plan, the guarantee was removed in 1995 (8 years before Ivey was Treasurer) from all the documents, and in 2001 (2 years before Ivey was Treasurer) state law was explicitly changed. The market proceeded to tank, the dollars were lost, and the program was busted. Ivey was at the helm when this happened, but is it her fault? Not unless you blame her for the Great Recession.
The most legitimate gripe that anyone can level at Ivey over the PACT is that she continued to push people towards this collapsing Ponzi scheme in order to keep it going, but the collapse was not her fault.
Does this suck? Yes. Is it terrible? Yes. Were real people hurt? Of course.
Is it Ivey’s fault? No.
This is good politics done in bad faith.