Conservatives Rally Against Data Collection Bills

By Brandon Moseley

The legislature has returned for another session and some GOP legislators are once again pushing a longitudinal data collection scheme. Once again the primary opponents of this grand scheme are fellow Republicans. On Thursday, February 23 Alabama Eagle Forum led a conservative rally in opposition to the longitudinal data bills, House Bill 97 and Senate Bill 153.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) read a statement from his wife, state school board member Jackie Zeigler (R) vowing to oppose the data collection.
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The irony of righteous indignation

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

When State Superintendent of Education Mike Sentance told the State School Board Dec. 8, that the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Education had determined that the State’s high school graduation rate was inaccurate, reaction was swift and true to form.

Members of the Legislature who consistently oppose public education were quick to tell media that there should be consequences for deceiving the public. (Would this include the 22 senators and 51 house members who voted for the Alabama Accountability Act in 2013 and told the public that this was all about “helping poor kids stuck in failing schools by their zip codes?”)
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GBYR Leadership Changes

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, Greater Birmingham Young Republicans Chairman Justin Barkley tendered his resignation as Club Chairman. Vice-Chairman Haley Lucido will assume the role of interim Chairman for the remainder of his term.

Barkley said in his resignation letter that between going back to school and a recent promotion at work he no longer had sufficient time to continue as Chairman. Barkley lost his bid to unseat incumbent Stephanie Bell (R) in the Republican Primary earlier this year.
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Did The Tea Party Get Beat At Their Own Game?

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

My friends involved with Tea Party politics in Alabama decidedly favored either Michael Sentance of Massachusetts or Bill Evers of California as the next school superintendent. The reason? They said both were against Common Core standards.

Sentance was selected.

On Aug. 10 board member Matt Brown sent an email across the state saying he had heard a rumor that Tea Party supported state board members were going to support Craig Pouncey. He was directly pointing his finger at board members Betty Peters and Stephanie Bell and not so subtly encouraging people to put pressure on them. Bell and Peters were two of Sentance’s five votes Aug. 11. (Along with Brown, Mary Scott Hunter and Governor Bentley.)
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Non-Educator Selected as State Superintendent

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—At least 30 school superintendents were on hand when the State Board of Education selected a Massachusetts education consultant to lead the Alabama Department of Education (ALSDE). On a 5 to 4 vote, “dark horse” candidate Michael Sentance won after several rounds of voting.

Over the last several years, Sentance has applied and has been rejected for similar positions in…

Wyoming

Kentucky

Nevada

Utah

Nebraska

Ohio.

Many public school superintendents left the meeting in shock, questioning what prompted the Board to elect a man who is not an educator.
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Why Did Edgenuity Buy Mike Hubbard?

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, June 10, a Lee County Jury found Mike Hubbard guilty of twelve counts of felony ethics violations. Among these is Count number ten. There, the disgraced Speaker was found guilty of, “Receiving money from a lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal of Edgenuity, inc. and/or E2020 (a data provider specializing in online education software in Wetumpka) to Auburn Network.”
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Stephanie Bell Re-elected to State Board of Education

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State Board of Education (SBOE) has become a battleground between pro-Common Core and anti-Common Core forces and that was reflected in the state school board races on Tuesday, March 1. Nobody has been a more vocal opponent of Alabama’s controversial College and Career Ready Standards adopted by the board over Mrs. Bell’s repeated objections.

The staunchly pro-Common Core standards Business Council of Alabama targeted Bell in this election. They endorsed challenger Justin Barkley’s attempt to unseat Bell in the Place 3 race. Despite this and over $100,000 spent by Barkley, Bell won reelection by 18,933 votes. Justin Barkley received 38.85 percent of the vote (43,331). Stephanie Bell received 61.85 percent of the vote, 65,403 57,002 of the 95,071 votes cast.
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School Board District 3 Race Has Been Heavily Contested

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 1, Republican voters go to the polls to select the District 3 Alabama Board of Education member. The incumbent, Stephanie Bell (R) is being challenged by Greater Birmingham Young Republicans Chairman Justin Barkley in the Republican Primary.

Stephanie Bell said, “My opponent has spent over $100,000 from business interests and out of state funders trying to push Obama’s Common Core on Alabama’s schools, and on YOUR children. Please help us fight back by sharing this video with everyone you know in SBOE District 3! The Eastern half of Bibb County, all of Chilton County, all of Coosa County, all of Elmore County, part of Montgomery County, all of Shelby County, all of Talladega County, and the Homewood and Mountain Brook areas. Please help us spread the word!”
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Tea Party Groups Welcome Back Legislators

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, February 2, conservatives held their annual “Welcome Back” rally in front of the Alabama Statehouse to welcome legislators back for the 2016 Legislative Session and to campaign for their conservative agenda.

Dr. Lou Campomenosi with the Common Sense Campaign of Alabama praised the grassroots movement in Iowa on Monday for the launch of a grassroots conservative (Sen. Ted Cruz) to victory.

Campomenosi said, “The big thing we want to talk about is Common Core.”  He urged the legislature to pass legislation to repeal common core (the unpopular Alabama College and Career Ready Standards).  He also urged the legislators to pass initiative, referendum, and recall. 
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Justin Barkley Elected As New Chairman of GBYRs

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Justin BarkleyOn Thursday, November 12, the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYRs) met at Sidebar in Birmingham to elect new leadership.

Justin Barkley was elected the new Chairman of the GBYRs. Barkley and the other officers elected were elected unanimously and without opposition.

Barkley told the Alabama Political Reporter, “I am really pleased and excited to be Chairman in the upcoming election year. I am committed to working hard to elect Republicans in Jefferson County and throughout Alabama.”
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