State leaders have lost their credibility on prisons

November 29, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

With all the attention being given to the special election for the U.S. Senate, you may not have seen what has been happening in Montgomery with the prison crisis.

Last year, Gov. Bentley proposed a plan to build four new “super prisons” at a cost of about $800 million. At the time, a lawsuit had been filed claiming that the state’s prisons were overcrowded and did not provide adequate safety and healthcare services, which is a violation of the 8th Amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.”

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Remembering Our Veterans This Thanksgiving

November 17, 2017

By. Rep. Craig Ford

Every Thanksgiving, I like to write an editorial about the things that I am thankful for. I’ve written about how thankful I am for my family, and for public servants like Alabama’s educators. But this year, I want to say how thankful I am for our country’s veterans.

We just celebrated Veterans Day, of course, and we are blessed to live in a part of the country where our nation’s veterans are still revered and respected. Still, I feel that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to say thank you to the men and women who have served our great nation.

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Sports teach lessons you might not learn in the classroom

September 28, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

We all know that education and jobs go hand-in-hand. If you want to get a good job, you have to have a good education. And having good schools is an important part of recruiting jobs and industries to a community.

Education gets a lot of attention in Alabama. You hear a lot about how we need to invest more in reading, math, science and computer courses, and we absolutely do need to invest more in those areas.

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Should Superintendent Sentance be fired?

September 13, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

On Thursday, the State Board of Education will meet to discuss terminating State Superintendent Michael Sentance’s contract.

Politics has surrounded Sentance’s time in Alabama, starting even before he was hired. And if the Board decides to fire him, his supporters will claim that politics was the driving factor.

Sentance was the preferred choice of those who support charter schools and diverting tax dollars away from public schools to fund scholarships for private schools. And with his job on the line, most – if not all – of those who have publicly supported him have been those who support charter schools and the Accountability Act scholarship program.
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An agri-business center would be a great addition to the mega sports complex

September 8, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford
State House of Representatives

Tourism and hospitality are a $13 billion a year industry in the state of Alabama. That number comes from the Alabama Department of Tourism, and it was included in a press release Gov. Ivey put out last month.

But tourism and hospitality don’t just come from our beautiful beaches and college football. Alabama brings tourists from all over the country to participate in fishing and golf tournaments, space camp and tours of the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, travel ball sports and many, many more events.

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A crisis is coming to Alabama, but you aren’t hearing much about it

August 24, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

Our state government is no stranger to crises. We’ve had multiple budget crises, Medicaid crises and, most recently, a crisis related to our prison system.

But there is another growing crisis that hasn’t gotten the media attention these other issues have; It’s a crisis that could have a devastating impact on Alabama’s families, our economy and the taxpayers.

I’m talking about the opioid crisis.

Based on the news coverage, you may think that the opioid crisis is mostly in the Rust Belt states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. But opioids are a major problem in Alabama, and are becoming a bigger problem each day.

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If Etowah County Commission won’t step up for The Mega Sport Complex, Legislative Delegation should

July 27, 2017

Guest Editorial by Rep. Craig Ford

Every day I run into people who tell me how much they want Etowah County to have its own sports complex. And in almost every single one of these conversations, I always get asked, “But Craig, do you really think we will ever actually get it done?”

I do believe we will get it done. But it will get done a lot quicker and easier if the Etowah County Commission will get on board.
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Replacing ACT Aspire with the actual ACT is as dumb as it gets

July 20, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

Last week, our State Superintendent of Education announced a decision that is so spectacularly stupid you almost have to assume the intention is to hurt our schools.

That decision is to replace the ACT preparation exam, called the ACT Aspire, with the actual ACT as a measure of school accountability.

Think about that for a second. Replacing the preparation exam with the actual exam is like sending a minor league baseball player who has a low batting average up to the major league and expecting him to start knocking balls out of the park.
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You can’t fix schools by abandoning them

July 12, 2017

By State Representative Craig Ford

You can’t fix something that is broken by abandoning it. A car that breaks down on the side of the road won’t repair itself. If you want the car to run again, you have to give it the repairs it needs.

The same is true when it comes to education.

When the first charter schools were created in this country, the intention was for them to be places where educators could experiment with new methods of teaching to see how they could make gains in traditional public schools.
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Can’t never could

July 6, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

One of the things I learned from my dad when I was young, is that you can accomplish the things that may seem impossible; things that other people tell you can’t be done.

More than once, somebody (sometimes even me) would tell my dad that something couldn’t be done. But dad would just smile at them and say, “Can’t never could.”

As a legislator, my dad fought for a lot of projects that some people doubted would ever become a reality. Dad fought for I-759 before it ever existed (years later, they named it the “Joe Ford Highway” in honor of him).
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