State of Alabama Archives: on Education

Kay Ivey: Strong Start, Strong Finish: from pre-K to workforce

For Alabamians to have career opportunities, they must be prepared when the right job comes along. My education initiative, Strong Start, Strong Finish, does just that. Under Strong Start, Strong Finish, we will coordinate our efforts and bring all stakeholders to the table in order to improve education all the way from Pre-K to the workforce.

I instituted Strong Start, Strong Finish, because we must prepare our people for the jobs of today and for the jobs of tomorrow. By 2020, 62% of all jobs available in Alabama will require some form of postsecondary education. However, today, only 37% of our workforce has achieved such an education. We must ensure that our students graduate high school and then earn a postsecondary certificate or degree.

I'm proud to have quickly become known as a governor focused on education. Over the past nine months, I have devoted a great deal of my time to my role as president of the State Board of Education.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Alabama legislature Jan 9, 2018

Roy Moore: Feds out of education; encourage vouchers

The federal government should not hamper the educational systems of the states as there is no authority for federal involvement under the Constitution. Programs like "Common Core" should be eliminated. Charter schools, vouchers, tax credits, home schooling, Christian schools, and technical training should be encouraged.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate campaign website Aug 31, 2017

Doug Jones: Invest in public schools, not private experiments

There is no doubt that the quality and funding of education in America (especially in our own state) have been uneven. Rather than abandoning these communities and schools to experiments overseen by political donors, we must commit our nation to providing first class education for children regardless of where they live. Republicans say that they believe in "equality of opportunity." It is time to provide the resources to ensure that equality.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate website Aug 17, 2017

Doug Jones: Public service & Pell grants to reduce college costs

College, too, must be within economic reach of all families--without burdening a student with overwhelming debt. I support a program of public service in exchange for reduced college costs and full funding of Pell grants for students and additional research funding in the sciences and arts for the colleges themselves.
Source: 2017-2018 Alabama Senate website Aug 17, 2017

Stacy Lee George: Local control but invest in teachers

Increasing parent involvement while strengthening Alabama communities is the first step in providing an industry leading education platform. Alabama must strive to set a new standard in education by treating our teachers like they deserve to be treated. We need to reevaluate the educator pay scales and adjust at a rate that will enable us to recruit and retain the best educators in the nation.
Source: 2018 Alabama Governor website Aug 17, 2017

David Carrington: Alabama needs massive increase in education spending

We must embark on a strategic path to move Alabama's K-12 education system from the bottom 10% to the top 25% in the next decade. We need to fully fund Pre-K, restore funding for the Alabama Reading Initiative, expand vocational-technical programs and fully embrace dual enrollment. In addition, we need to double-down on our workforce development efforts. This includes expanding career tech training programs and offering basic math and reading courses to the more than 500,000 Alabama working-age adults who can't escape the trap of a low paying job because they don't have a high school degree or a technical certification.
Source: Alabama governor campaign website, Jul 17, 2017

Roy Moore: Common Core? Education is not in the Constitution

Moore denounced federal government involvement in public education. "When the federal government starts usurping the powers of the state it's the right and the duty of its representatives to stand against that," Moore said after he was asked about Common Core curriculum standards used in Alabama and many states. "Education is not in the Constitution. It has never been in the Constitution."
Source: Birmingham News on 2017 Alabama Senate special election Apr 26, 2017

Chris Countryman: Cutting the education budget is never a solution

Alabama has struggled over the years to provide quality educational resources to students in our public schools. Currently Alabama has a graduation rate of 72%. Many politicians continue to propose cutting the state education budget in order to make room for many non-essential programs. Cutting the education budget in Alabama is never a solution when it comes to the education of students within the state.
Source: 2018 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website "testtrac2018" Mar 15, 2017

Chris Countryman: Provide funding for college outside of sports scholarhips

Our educational system has failed to provide our high school graduates with affordable tuition costs once entering college. Countless state colleges offer expensive sport scholarships to High school sports stars but are ignoring many students who have great potential, but are unable to pay for college or secure a college funding opportunity. Our students cannot be expected to compete in today's challenging job market if they are not provided with the resources that give them the tools to succeed.
Source: 2018 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website "testtrac2018" Mar 15, 2017

Marcus Bowman: Be mature enough to allow school prayer

Q: Do you support or oppose the policy, "Keep God in the public sphere"

A: Strongly support. The 1st Amendment states that while there should be no law establishing religion there also should be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thus should folks want to pray before a meeting or at school we should all be mature enough to live and let live.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Jan 21, 2016

Marcus Bowman: Vouchers help achieve the best possible education

Q: Do you support or oppose the policy, "Vouchers for school choice"

A: Strongly support. I want to see the best possible education in public and private schools and I believe vouchers help achieve that goal.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Jan 21, 2016

Ron Crumpton: Vouchers take from public education

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: Strongly disagree. It takes from public education.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Alabama Senate race with OnTheIssues Nov 26, 2015

Ron Crumpton: Our classrooms should be cathedrals: $650B to repair them

Education is the silver bullet in America. The starting point for everything that we as Alabamians want to see for our state is in the education of our children. Statistics show that the success of a state directly correlates with the education of its people.

Our classrooms should be cathedrals, our teachers of the highest caliber and all students should be given every necessary opportunity to ensure that they have the skills to be a productive member of our society.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to many experts, it will cost tax payers $300 billion just to bring our schools up to an acceptable level. That does not include the new facilities that will be necessary to meet the needs of our growing school age population. My plan for the economy would generate $65 billion per year, for the next ten years, to repair our current schools and build new schools before falling back to $30 billion a year for maintenance and to provide for future growth.

Source: 2016 Senate campaign website Jul 23, 2015

Kay Ivey: Remove bad teachers; let students leave failing schools

The "Students First Act" Teacher Tenure Reform: Vowing to protect the state's greatest asset--the education of Alabama's children--lawmakers passed an education reform measure giving local school boards the resources to ensure the state has quality teachers in every classroom. Grants local school boards more authority to remove bad teachers and is widely supported by the state's education community as a much-needed reform.

Alabama Accountability Act- Is a historic school choice plan that invests in students by giving families with students in a failing school the opportunity to receive an income tax credit to offset the cost of transferring a student to a non-failing public or private school. The Act also empowers local control by allowing schools and school districts to enter into flexibility contracts with the State Board of Education.

Source: 2014 Alabama Lt. Governor campaign website Oct 30, 2014

Gary Palmer: We need choice and local control

Several years ago, the federal No Child Left Behind law established a precedent; for the very first time, the federal government told local school districts that it must test students at certain grade levels.

Common Core builds upon this precedent. States that adopt Common Core standards will not only be required to test, they will now be told by the US Department of Education what tests their students must take.

Once fully implemented, Common Core will allow national entities to determine what students are taught at the local level. Common Core is the means by which federal bureaucrats will exercise inappropriate control over local schools.

Alabama should follow the lead of other states and back away from Common Core and develop our own high standards. We need innovation and entrepreneurship in education, not a national, top down solution. We need choice and local control--not mediocre national standards or federal bureaucrats imposing national standards.

Source: 2014 AL-6 House campaign website, Sep 30, 2014

Parker Griffith: Statewide lottery to fund Alabama schools

Alabama's 8th-graders finished 50th among states in math last year. Griffith sets himself apart by calling for a lottery to help fund education. Griffith said about the 50th ranking in 8th-grade math: "It's a loud wakeup noise for us," Griffith said.

In 1999, Alabama voters rejected a lottery to pay for scholarships, pre-kindergarten and school technology. Griffith believes that voters would support a lottery now, and already buy lottery tickets in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida that fund education in those states. "We want them to stay here," Griffith said. "I think people understand that gaming is happening all around Alabama." Griffith said that pre-kindergarten would be one of the recipients of funding from his new education lottery.

Bentley said he does not think a lottery is the best way to fund government & that he would oppose earmarking such funds for specific purposes. He also said, "I have never been opposed to allowing people to vote on anything, and that includes a lottery."

Source: coverage of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial debate Sep 7, 2014

Robert Bentley: First Class Pre-K good, but only enrolls 12% of kids

Griffith and Bentley both support expanding the availability of pre-kindergarten. Alabama's voluntary pre-K initiative, First Class, started in 2000 and is well-regarded nationally. The Legislature, at Bentley's request, has doubled funding for pre-kindergarten over the last two years, to $38 million. The program has grown accordingly but still serves only about 7,400 children, about 12% of the state's 4-year-olds.

Bentley said he will ask the Legislature for another $10 million increase next year. He said the state should gradually expand it be available to all 4-year-olds statewide. "Every child would have a foundation upon which they could build," Bentley said.

The governor said statistics show the value of First Class. All of its children, for example, have gone on to become grade-level readers in third grade. Moreover, pre-K narrows the achievement gap: Low-income children who experience pre-k are less likely to struggle later.

Source: coverage of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial debate Sep 7, 2014

Parker Griffith: AdWatch: New statewide vote on school-funding lottery

Democrat Parker Griffith released a new ad this afternoon touting his promise that if elected governor he will push for a vote for a lottery to support public schools.

The 30-second spot repeats what has become a standard refrain from the Griffith campaign, namely that the only thing standing between Alabama and a brighter future is Republican Gov. Robert Bentley.

Griffith is hoping that his support for a lottery does for his campaign what it did for former Gov. Don Siegelman in 1998 when then Lt. Gov. Siegelman defeated Republican Gov. Fob James. Democrat Siegelman campaigned promising that if elected he would push for a vote on a lottery to support schools.

Siegelman won and the Legislature, then in the hands of Democrats, approved a vote for a lottery. The public overwhelmingly rejected it in 1999.

Source: AdWatch of 2014 Alabama gubernatorial race Sep 3, 2014

Robert Bentley: First Class program: voluntary Pre-K education

We must give children a chance at success even before they reach Kindergarten. We must close the achievement gap. Children and schools must be given every chance to succeed. I truly believe by allowing greater access to a voluntary Pre-K education, we will change the lives of children in Alabama.

Alabama's First Class program is nationally-recognized for its quality. Alabama is currently 1 of only 4 states in the country to meet all 10 quality benchmarks established by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The benchmarks include teacher training, staff-child ratios, support services and more. However, only 6% of Alabama's 4-year-olds are currently enrolled in the First Class program. The state also ranks a disappointing 33rd in access among the 40 states that offer pre-K programs. In order to expand access, Governor Bentley proposed additional funding for voluntary pre-kindergarten in the fiscal year 2014 Education Trust Fund.

Source: 2014 Alabama Gubernatorial website, Sep 1, 2014

Robert Bentley: Improving schools with a federal/state/private partnership

Governor Bentley announced results for A+ College Ready's Advanced Placement Training and Incentive program. Program schools achieved a 108% average increase in passing Advanced Placement scores. A+ College Ready is a proven investment that is preparing our students for college and the jobs of tomorrow. The funding is a public-private partnership that includes the legislature, the National Math and Science Initiative, the U.S. Department of Education and private donors.
Source: 2011 Alabama gubernatorial press release #5513 Aug 24, 2011

Robert Bentley: Give more power to school boards to make decisions

We will give flexibility to local school boards to prioritize and make decisions that affect the schools in their districts. We will remove restrictive language from legislation that dictates decisions made by these schools board and give them additional funding and flexibility so they can put the money to highest and best use.
Source: 2011 Alabama gubernatorial press release #4728 Mar 1, 2011

Robert Bentley: Though benefits will be cut, no teaching jobs will be lost

Beginning with 2012, we will ask our teachers to contribute more to their individual retirement and to health care insurance programs. We are only asking our teachers to do what virtually everyone else has been forced to do in these tough economic times. And though there will be sacrifices--I will not sacrifice one single teacher's job. Classroom sizes will not increase. There will be no cuts to the length of the school year or to contract days for teachers or support personnel.
Source: 2011 State of the State speech to Alabama legislature Mar 1, 2011

Kay Ivey: Charter Schools "plan of action" for statewide reform

We are one of only ten states left in the country without Charter Schools. So here are some of my ideas to lay out a path for Charter Schools in Alabama:
Source: 2010 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website Mar 31, 2010

Kay Ivey: Charter Schools offer quality alternative to private schools

[To implement] a Charter Schools "plan of action" will require a collaborative effort. There will be certain, stiff opposition from teachers' unions and a few stubborn school boards and administrators. Existing public schools should welcome Charter Schools as an option, not a threat. Across the country, Charter Schools are helping--even saving--fragile, vulnerable students who have the most serious needs. They are also proven to reduce the shift from public schools to private schools and homeschooling.
Source: 2010 Alabama Gubernatorial campaign website Mar 31, 2010

Robert Bentley: Supports moment-of-silence and teacher spanking law

Source: Alabama 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Alabama Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 12, 2018