schoolBy now practically everyone in Alabama has seen, heard or read something about public charter schools. Incredibly, most of what is out there is actually deliberate “misinformation” targeting what can be best described as simply increasing educational options for students. Naturally, the AEA is the driving force behind the campaign to discredit educational choice in Alabama.

The education of Alabama’s next generation is a topic that causes even the most apathetic citizen to pay attention. Public charter schools may well be the only chance we have to change lives for a segment of students who will, without intervention of some kind, drop out of school. Here are some facts about education in Alabama:  in 2010, there were 38 Alabama high schools that graduated 60% or less of the student population; of those 38 high schools, five graduated less than HALF of enrolled students, and one high school graduated only 38%. If you need more proof that what we have isn’t working for all of our students, click here for an in-depth look at the real change that public charter schools can bringfor the entire state of Alabama.

Most Alabamians have little knowledge of public charter schools so it’s time for some information you can trust: they are independent public schools that have great flexibility in academic programs, administration and personnel. Public charter schools can fire incompetent teachers and administrators just like any other company that has employees who don’t perform well. This is directly at odds with AEA’s mission to secure tenure, higher salaries, and more benefits for education employees, despite under-performance or a negative impact on students.

The weakened legislation now being considered will authorize only 20 public charter schools statewide and only in certain areas. The original legislation would have allowed the creation of 50 public charter schools and given the fact that in 2011 about 23,000 students failed to graduate in Alabama, the Republicans should have stayed with 50.

In 2008, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization made up of 4,000 law enforcement officials and violence survivors held a news conference with Alabama law enforcement leaders to address Alabama’s dropout problem.  At the news conference, Fight Crime stated that increasing Alabama’s graduation rate by just 10 percent would prevent 76 murders and almost 2,100 assaults in Alabama each year.

Public charter schools help keep students in school, especially students who are forced to attend Alabama’s worst performing schools. This alone will save Alabama millions of dollars in social welfare and criminal justice costs and, according to Fight Crime, save lives.  Click here to view two of our most recent videos that further explain charter schools.

Passing a strong public charter school bill will prove that Republican legislators can ignore the pressure of the AEA and allow Alabama students the opportunity to expect success, rather than settle for failure. It’s time to send a clear message to the people of Alabama that this Republican majority has the courage to do what it knows to be best for our entire state, not just a vocal and well-funded segment of it.


The Shared Foundation of Liberals and Conservatives

Political discussion in the United States is often framed by party allegiance. When people are asked to explain the rationale behind their choice to identify with a specific party, however, they often cannot give an answer beyond listing particular positions that they support or oppose. While an understanding of specific policies is important, limiting debate […]

Alabama can do more for its military families

According to a recent survey, a majority of military family members do not feel that they belong in their local civilian communities. This means that less than half of military families that live in our neighborhoods, shop at our malls, and attend our places of worship feel at home with us. Why is this the […]

Taylor’s Top 4: Legislative Review for Week 8

Our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to Representative Allen Treadaway and his family after the loss of his daughter Kelsey Treadaway earlier this week.  If you want to receive daily news hits from across the state and nation straight to your inbox each morning, click here to subscribe to API’s Daily Clips. 1. Changes to ethics […]

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Superintendent Sentance Deserves a Fair Shot

Though his career at Alabama began with a mediocre 6-6 record and, perhaps more notably to fans, a loss to Auburn, football coach Nick Saban was not fired after his first year—and good thing he wasn’t. Today, Saban is considered by many to be perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time. We give […]

Our Evaluation of Michael Sentance

The Alabama State Board of Education will meet tomorrow in Montgomery for a special meeting abruptly called last week. The stated purpose is to evaluate Superintendent Michael Sentance. The rumored purpose is to fire him. We trust that the latter is just that—a rumor—as there is absolutely no justification for firing Mr. Sentance. Indeed, allow […]

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Alabama can do more for its military families

According to a recent survey, a majority of military family members do not feel that they belong in their local civilian communities. This means that less than half of military families that live in our neighborhoods, shop at our malls, and attend our places of worship feel at home with us. Why is this the […]

Using our tax breaks and bonuses for things that matter

“Crumbs”. That’s how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the thousand-dollar bonuses and wage increases that companies are offering employees in the wake of federal tax reform. This description has, appropriately, come under attack. Walmart, Alabama’s largest employer, is spending around $400 million on employee bonuses. In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, over […]

Pro-Life Values Should Go Beyond the Ballot Box

By Brooke Bacak Voters in Alabama have great concern for the unborn. After Tuesday’s special election, many feel anguish over the loss of a reliably pro-life Senate seat, which could affect federal judicial appointments over the next several years. Without judges who respect the right of states to regulate abortion, pro-life voters feel especially helpless […]

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Republicans Can Regain Trust by Defunding Obamacare

As October 1st and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare quickly approach, Republican members of Congress are faced with a tough decision over whether or not to provide funding for the new programs created by the law. At least 80 members of Congress have signed a letter calling on Speaker […]


Today, Attorney General Luther Strange and Alabama Policy Institute (API) President Gary Palmer addressed API’s recent receipt of a letter from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that inquired about API’s relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council and asked whether API supports “stand your ground” legislation.  This request infringes upon API’s constitutional right to free […]