by Representative Allen Farley
The second week of the Alabama Legislative Session was an especially tough one for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 61 years old and my head just refuses to turn sometimes, or if it’s because some legislators think the rest of us are deaf, dumb, and stupid? (They have made a mistake). For two years I have watched and listened to the same legislators fan flames of hatred and distrust to apparently keep their constituents walking in straight lines behind them to the poles.
On Valentine’s Day I spent several hours sitting in the House Chamber listening to Democrats filibuster the “School Flexibility Act”. It was amazing. At one point I turned and asked if the democrats had a copy of the bill. One by one they walked to the podium. Each would complain about how HB-84, “The School Flexibility Act”, was going to end tenure for Alabama teachers. (Pinch me). Time and time again Representative Fincher would calmly direct the pontificating democrat to the page and line where it explained that a school system “may not use this bill to force a current or future employee to involuntarily relinquish their tenure rights or rights obtained by reaching nonprobationary employment status”.
Try to get this painful visual. The day before HB-84 came to the House Floor for debate, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Chad Fincher, went to the Wednesday Democrat Caucus luncheon to discuss “The School Flexibility Act” and answer any questions. Now, the next day, we have a circus parade of democrats going to the House podium to talk about things we knew they knew were not in the bill. (Stay with me, it gets worse). Next, we listened to a representative tell a beautiful story of spending the weekend meeting with constituents who asked this representative to please vote against “The School Flexibility Act” because it was going to remove tenure from Alabama teachers. (By this time I’m praying for the rapture).
Question: Why would an elected official not read a printed document to constituents that would dispel false reports and rumors?
Just before entering the House Chamber for the HB-84 debate I was handed a letter written by AEA’s Henry Mabry. It was addressed to “Members of the House”. Let me share the first part of the fourth paragraph with you:
“House members are again being led astray. If you want to get rid of tenure, then you should vote for the bill and the Fincher amendment. If you want to hurt teacher benefits and working conditions, then vote for the bill and the Fincher amendment”.
Toward the end of Dr. Mabry’s letter he states “You need to know the Fincher Bill and Fincher Amendment are anti-public education bills at this point in time”. He also writes “The 100,000 members of AEA will know the truth about this legislation”.
Fact: “The School Flexibility Act” will inspire creativity and innovation in our schools. It will give all schools a chance to redesign the future, while protecting the rights of our teachers and our students. It has been endorsed by The Alabama Association of School Business Officials, The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, The School Superintendents Association of Alabama, The Alabama Association of School Boards, The A+ Education Partnership, The Alabama State Department of Education, and The Business Council of Alabama.
My Opinion: We live in the greatest nation in the world. We have been truly blessed by God. And, just like our ability to read God’s word, we also have the ability to obtain and read all laws adopted or proposed that will govern us. So, why don’t we see more distribution and open discussion of official documents? What if we put away our Bibles and made our “eternal life” decisions based on the opinions of others rather than reading God’s word? “The Truth shall set you Free”. (Go to www.alhousegop.com/truth).
Amos 5:10-13 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. (11)Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink the wine. (12)For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins- you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. (13)Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.
God Bless America!!!