By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Business Council of Alabama CEO, Billy Canary, and former State Superintendent of Education and current leader of BCA’s education arm, Joe Morton, recently co-authored an Op-Ed in which they pose questions they want answered by the State Superintendent candidates.
Canary and Morton write, “no way are we trying to influence the vote or the final selection…[of State Superintendent]” This is like a hooker telling a John that hard cash will have no bearing on the outcome of their date.
While these questions may have merit, the questioners’ motives are suspect.
BCA was a prime mover behind the so-called Accountability Act, better known as, the Bob Riley Retirement Fund. It was also the guiding hand behind the State’s charter school legislation, AKA “we want to be Louisiana in 10 years or less.” Where billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on charter schools in Louisiana.
Canary, a board member of disgraced felon and former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard’s “kitchen cabinet,” shouldn’t be giving advice on any subject involving education or government. Morton was instrumental in directing $13.1 million dollars of tax payer money to “Learning Through Sports,” a Hubbard business interest. While this may not be disqualifying, the fact that he’s Canary’s Lackey, is.
With all of this duo’s vaulted wisdom on display, they didn’t ask, “How will you fix a broken system without more money?” They do praise the State’s Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) and point to the importance these skills leading to students being, “much more likely to perform better in other subjects, especially in the critical areas of math, science, and technology.” They follow this by asking, “As State Superintendent of Education, what will you do to improve Alabama students’ success in STEM-related courses?” But they never ask, “How will you pay for ARI or STEM-related courses when classrooms lack books and necessary related technology?”
BCA has supported sending public money to private schools, which further weakens public education, and they continue to fight reasonable taxes to fund improvements to our current system.
Then they ask the superintendent hopefuls, “As State Superintendent of Education, what would you do to ensure all Alabama schools are staffed with highly qualified and highly effective teachers and administrators?”
Duh! Billy Joe.
BCA, with the assistance of Hubbard, Riley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, have broken the back of the Alabama Education Association, denied pay raises for education and support staff, and, truth be told, they would tear down pubic education and replace it with “choice” driven by Wall Street hedge fund managers, “edetrepreneurs” and corporate philanthropists, whose kids already attend private schools. These are the business interests and the groups Canary represents.
The opinions of former Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice, and other educators, were ignored on the Accountability Act. The view of teachers and administrators were not part of the charted school discussion. So, for Canary’s BCA to suddenly have a deep interest in the thoughts of the future superintendent would be laughable, if it were not so deadly serious.
Canary and his cohorts around the nation are determined to control education for profit. Their idea of “reform” is to monetize education, providing a multi-billion dollar boom for hustlers, like Riley.
If those, who write those big checks to BCA aren’t concerned that you, Mr. Canary, are the disgraced face of business in Alabama, they should be. If all their lawyers and PR staff cannot see you are a liability, they are not doing their jobs.
You don’t care about education sir, only yourself, power and profit.
So, if I may be so bold, on behalf of the women and men who work in the class room, lunchroom, front offices, the retirees and those who work to support every aspect of public education in Alabama, here’s a question for you Mr. Canary: “When are you leaving our State?”