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Montgomery Advertiser: Learning gains at risk

Gov. Robert Bentley may prove to be correct when he says that the drop in the number of teachers in Alabama’s public schools hasn’t hurt student achievement. But he also may be completely off the mark.

Years of declining budgets in public education have seen the number of teachers in classrooms decline sharply. A report in the Birmingham News shows that the state has lost 3,290 teachers since the 2007-2008 school year, or 6.7 percent.

That prompted the governor to suggest that he doesn’t believe student achievement has been hurt — yet.

“I don’t believe the students have been hurt by the loss of teachers so far. Now, if we get to a certain point, obviously, they will be, because the most important thing for the learning of a child is going to be the classroom teacher,” Bentley told the News.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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