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State Rep. Meadows: ‘Very concerned’ about AEA’s re-emergence — ‘Bunch of Republicans’ took money from teachers’ union in 2018

Near the end of the 2021 legislative session, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) reminded political watchers that it is still a presence in Montgomery by successfully rallying support to delay the Literacy Act, which would have delayed the third-grade reading requirement for third graders to be promoted to the fourth grade.

Although both the Senate and the House passed the bill, it was vetoed by Gov. Kay Ivey.

On Tuesday, State Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) discussed the AEA’s revival during an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5, which she said was a cause for concern.

“I’m very concerned about it,” she said. “The first time I ran for this seat, the AEA opposed me to the tune of $200,000. But they can’t spend that kind of money against every one of us, but right now, they don’t have to.”

Meadows encouraged listeners to look and see where the AEA was putting its resources in the form of campaign contributions, which she warned could have an impact on public education policy in the future.

“You know the AEA into financial in the 2018 cycle,” she said. “It’s interesting when you go look. Their union is called AVOTE, and you can pull up a report and see who all they gave money to. There is a bunch of Republicans who took money from AVOTE. And some of them took large sums — $20,000, $30,000, $35,000, which is a lot. So, it is certainly something as they continue to build, I would call a warchest. We need to be aware of what they’re buying. And Republicans and, for that matter, Democrats who are taking money need to be aware of what they’re going to be expected to vote on because if we don’t as a state really focus on improving education, regardless of who we’ve gotten money from, we’re hurting the future — not just our current — we’re hurting future generations.”

“We can’t bring businesses in,” Meadows added. “We can’t hire people. They can’t work. They can’t read. It’s a huge trickle-down effect. We’ve really got to focus on improving education. There’s a lot more to it than just school choice. We’ve got to make sure the teachers graduating from our educational institutions are well prepared, have the resources they need. And that was what the Literacy Act was about — to make sure the teachers knew the best way to teach reading.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.