All I want for Christmas is… for every child to have a good education

December 14, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

When my kids were growing up, I don’t know who was more excited on Christmas morning: the kids opening their presents or me and Gwen watching them!

Ever since God gave us the original and best Christmas gift, our lord and savior Jesus Christ, giving gifts has been a part of celebrating Christmas. But as I thought about what I wanted most this Christmas, it wasn’t anything material or even something for myself.

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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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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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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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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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The Legislature needs to pass the Lottery in the Special Session

June 8, 2017

Guest Editorial from Rep. Craig Ford

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a State Lottery.

Last summer, Gov. Bentley called a Special Session specifically for the purpose of passing a Lottery. After passing out of the State Senate, the Lottery went to the House where it passed on its second vote after a few changes had been made. Those changes meant the bill had to go back to the Senate, and the Senators didn’t agree with the changes the House had made. So, the Lottery once again died without getting a chance to go before the people.
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It’s not about right wing and left wing, it’s about right and wrong

May 25, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It would be easy to think nothing good has happened lately in the world of Alabama politics, and that Montgomery is so mired in corruption and bickering that nothing ever gets done.

After all, the Legislative Session that just ended began with one governor and ended with a different one; tensions over Legislative redistricting and a controversial email slowed its final days to a crawl; and important issues that were left unfinished will most likely lead to a costly Special Session.
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State feeling buyer’s remorse on Superintendent of Education

May 4, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

When we hear the words, “buyer’s remorse,” we usually think of somebody who bought a car they couldn’t afford or some luxury item that ended up not being as great as they thought it would be.

But the term also applies to the way a lot of members of the Alabama Legislature and the State Board of Education feel about our School Superintendent, Michael Sentance.

The warning signs should have been there from the beginning.
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