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Press Releases

A Massive Setback for Education in Alabama

After speaking with Michael Sentance today upon his resignation from his role as state superintendent, the Alabama Policy Institute releases the following statement: “At API, we are saddened to hear that Michael Sentance was forced to resign as Alabama State Superintendent of Education. We see this as a massive setback for education in Alabama. This […]

API Joins 36 Conservative Groups and Activists: Congress Must Stop New Obamacare Taxes

Lawmakers must act to prevent Obamacare taxes from going into effect next year, 36 conservative groups and activists wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Absent Congressional action, the Obamacare health insurance tax and medical device tax will both go into effect in 2018. […]

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 […]

Op-Eds

How Christ’s Resurrection Makes Politics Better

“He is not here; He has risen!” These are perhaps the most consequential words ever spoken. A man who three days earlier had been violently beaten, hung upon a cross, and buried lifeless in a tomb, is alive again! The reality behind these words—a risen Savior who had borne the sins of the world—prompted the […]

Alabama’s unrestrained “permission slip to work” laws affect real Alabamians

Across the country, lawmakers are realizing the costs associated with the rampant overuse of occupational licensing laws. Alabama Policy Institute’s recent report shows that over 21% of Alabama workers are licensed. This means that more than one in five Alabamians need a government permission slip to work. Although the original impetus behind states’ licensing practices […]

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 […]

Guides to the Issues

Guide to the Issues: Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)

An education savings account is an individual student bank account, established by state law, which holds some or all of the public funds that would normally be allocated for the education of the participating student. Generally, the student must meet certain qualifications and the parent or guardian of the student must sign a contract with […]

Guide to the Issues: Charter Schools in Alabama

While the state of Alabama has seen incremental reform in the realm of public education in recent years, one major component of the national education reform movement has remained elusive. Despite rapid and often successful growth nationwide over the last twenty-five years, Alabama has been slow to embrace charter schools. One of the reasons for this […]

Guide to the Issues: Tax Credits in Alabama

Tax credits, at both the federal and state levels, directly offset an individual or business’ tax bill for the year. Tax credits are often part of a package deal when it comes to policymaking: tax deductions, tax incentives, and tax “breaks” are all closely associated with tax credits. It is often counterintuitive to think that […]

Research

Cutting the Competition?: The Effects of Licensing Barbers in Alabama

This paper, published by the Mackinac Institute, estimates the effects of Alabama’s reintroduction of barbering licensing requirements on the receipts and growth of barber shops in the state. It contains state-level comparisons of barber and beauty shops in Alabama, as well as comparing these Alabama statistics to that of nearby bordering states. In addition, I […]

The Costs of Occupational Licensing in Alabama

An occupational license is essentially a government permission slip to do certain work. In Alabama, before one can become a hair braider, cosmetologist, shampooer, massage therapist, auctioneer, pest control worker, and so on, one must first jump through a variety of hoops—attending classes, taking exams, and paying costly initial and recurring fees—mostly set at the […]

API Federal Dependency Polling Results

In late October, the Alabama Policy Institute commissioned a poll to determine Republican voter opinions about Alabama’s financial readiness and the degree to which Alabama is reliant on funding from the federal government. The survey of 750 Alabama Republican Primary voters indicated that many are concerned with the level of influence the federal government has […]