State of Alabama Archives: on Education

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 Jul 23, 2015

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, 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: 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: 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: 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, Sep 1, 2014

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

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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Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 28, 2017