The process used to pass the AAA was secretive and exclusive. A bill of this magnitude deserved to be fully debated in both chambers of the Legislature. It was not. The citizens of Alabama should have been granted an opportunity to preview this bill. They were not. And finally, passage of an educational bill of this significance should have included input from the state Superintendent of Education, Alabama’s Department of Education and the Alabama State School Board. All of these important public entities were totally excluded.
The end result of the AAA is the students within the Arab City School system (and other public school systems in Alabama) will, in the future, receive diminished funding from the Education Trust Fund. The income tax credits for paying private school tuition that the AAA grants to individuals and corporations will lessen future ETF allocations to the Arab City School system (and all public school systems in Alabama).
Who knows? With an open, inclusive and collaborative process, the Legislature may have been able to accomplish its noble purpose without economically penalizing the 90 percent of Alabama’s students who attend public schools that are not failing.
Superintendent of Arab City Schools