Alabama Political Reporter
Aside from echoing the state Republican Party agenda of promoting pro-business legislation for job growth, Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said a number of challenges await lawmakers as the 2012 Regular Session looms.
“The fiscal reality is that the General Fund is down $400 million,” Ivey told members of the Opelika Rotary Club at their weekly meeting Tuesday at Saugahatchee Country Club. “The Education Trust Fund, as you know, is in better shape. People say we need more money for education. Yes, we do. But let’s check on a couple of realities. In the years 2010 and 2011, the K-12 student population has remained relatively the same. At the same time, appropriations made to the Education Trust Fund came up. I say that we need more education results for our education dollars.
“The priorities for K-12 through PhD programs are to get focused on turning out products qualified to excel in 21st-century jobs in our existing firms and the ones coming. They will require more science, math and technology. We have got to have an educated workforce. We can’t solve the same problems with the same solutions and expect different results.”
Ivey, an Auburn University graduate from Wilcox County, told Rotarians that Alabamians should “be more receptive to new proposals” such as charter schools and that adopting sentence reform for first-time criminal offenders should be considered during the session.