79.1 F
73.9 F
75.4 F
56.9 F

Rep. Stadthagen: ‘There’s a future’ for school choice

Despite the best efforts of some Republicans, the Legislature failed to pass an expansion of school choice in Alabama last session.

Other states have expanded school choice options in recent years including Arizona, and some in the GOP believe Alabama needs to follow the lead of those states.

Wednesday, State Rep. Scott Stadthagen, who is also a candidate for Alabama House Majority Leader, said on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program” he plans to work on getting some kind of school choice bill passed next session.

“I think at the end of the day, if we all sit down, see what states have done … and just kind of evaluate from there,” said Stadthagen, “I think there’s a future for it.”

Stadthagen believes Arizona’s school choice program might be the model for Alabama to follow.

“I think we’re definitely going to address school choice this year,” he said. “I’ve been hearing a lot about Arizona’s legislation they’ve passed and the success they’re having. I personally want to look at that bill and see kind of what they’ve done and the angle they took.”

He admitted there have been obstacles in the way of getting it passed in previous sessions.

“Different people have different views,” he argued. “I think some of the concerns with some of the bills were the concerns with the poverty areas and the kids that live in poverty and they’re in a failing school system. I think those are the number one concerns with some members, and we need to focus on all kids in the state of Alabama, the ones in the good school system and the ones in the bad school system. I think school choice could be that route and to give that opportunity to that child that this is their only way out to having a successful life. There’s so many different angles to why that’s not successful right now in the Legislature.”

Stadthagen said there is no easy solution to fixing the education system in the Yellowhammer State.

“It’s not a simple fix,” he said. “There’s not going to be a simple solution. I think we just can’t tackle it with a magic bullet. We’re just going to have to sit at the table and evaluating from top to bottom and see where we are failing at and why we’re failing, and we’ve got to address it. I know we had some bills that were pushed through that were supposed to make a difference and I think they will make a difference, but I think, at the end of the day, we need to sit at the table and really reevaluate our education system because we’re proud in Alabama because of our college football, but when it comes to our ranking in education, we’re not and we’ve got to fix that.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.