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Opinion | What is “New Schools For Alabama” and why are taxpayers giving them $400,000?

Larry Lee

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When the Senate sent its education budget to the house during the past legislative session, the line item for the charter school commission was increased from $200,000 to $900.000 and there was an additional $500,000 for New Schools for Alabama.

I could not find anyone who knew what New Schools for Alabama was, what they did, or had even heard of them.

And when the House whacked on the Senate’s version of the Education Trust Fund, the line item for the charter commission was cut back to $800,000 and there was no appropriation for New Schools.

But because I am old and cynical and have watched politics for a very long time, I smell a rat.

Sure enough, at the June 7 charter commission meeting, chairman Mac Buttram said that $400,000 of their new $800,000 would go to New Schools.

This was confirmed at the state board work session of June 13 when Logan Searcy, the state department of education employee assigned to the charter commission, talked about this same financial arrangement. But who is this?

I can not find that they are a non-profit or have been incorporated.

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Apparently it is only a web site–and one that is inaccurate.

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Clink on the link above and one of the first things you see is the proclamation that Montgomery is getting four conversion charter schools.

This is totally wrong.

The Montgomery Education Foundation wanted to convert some Montgomery schools to charters, but when this came up for a vote before the Montgomery school board back in February, the person who made the motion could not even get a second and that was the end of that.

But someone running this website wants us to believe that this never happened.

And now we’re going to give someone this incompetent $400,000? We’re gonna take $400,000 away from the children of Alabama to apparently give someone a job?

And what will this job be? According to the web site, it will be to search far and wide for folks to bring charter schools to Alabama.

In other words, we are taking money from the Education Trust Fund to put charter schools across the state that will take money from local school systems.

Are you kidding me?

This makes as much sense as Alabama football coach Nick Saban sending money to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn to increases his recruiting budget so he can find players who can beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

Just one more example of how our public schools are under attack from politicians who will swear on a stack of bibles that they are great supporters of public schools.

It is total and complete BS.

Friends, this ain’t about educating children–it’s about MONEY.

 

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