The Senate went into session at 2PM and, after some administrative and procedural actions, began debate on SB45, the School Choice legislation which enables Charter Schools in Alabama. We remain one of 8 states that do not allow Charter Schools.
The Senate is a deliberative body and the debate continued for almost 5 hours, with several amendments being added. I encourage everyone interested in this legislation to invest the time and read the 60 page bill linked here. The bill passed the Senate and now goes to the House.
The Senate adjourned just before 8 PM last night.
My position on Charter Schools has remained the same since I started campaigning for this office back in 2009; I believe in school choice. We are blessed with great schools in our area but in other parts of the state children are sentenced to chronically underperforming schools – we are on the path to give these families another choice. Like many of you, I am fortunate to be able to find work and live in this area. Some families, due to financial, job, family or other circumstances, are unable to simply move to another school system. Charter Schools should be allowed in our state but – as we’ve come to this junction late – my support was dependent upon a very measured approach with backstops and defined metrics. We don’t need a Charter School on every corner. There are plenty of good and bad models that we can learn from and we have implemented best practices in the legislation. I also believe the local school boards should work in concert with local communities – keeping the decision making closest to the community. I feel all of this was accomplished in the legislation.
Semper Fi - Bill