Misinformation surrounds Legislature’s actions on education

Published 8:57 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

Dear editor:

It has been brought to our attention that parents of children now attending pre-K and Pals programs in Chilton County are being told that funding has been cut or reduced for these programs because of an act of the Legislature. This is completely false. It is also being told that the recently passed Accountability Act of 2013 has produced a negative financial impact on our school systems. This is also false.

The facts are, the 2014 Education budget has been passed by both houses with an increase of $12 million earmarked for pre-K programs, not a reduction. As the governor found out during his recent visit to Clanton Elementary School, our pre-K programs in this county are “nationally acclaimed” and second to none. The intent of the Bentley administration, and both houses of the Alabama Legislature, is to improve and increase these programs, not to reduce them.

Also, the notion that the passage of the Accountability Act of 2013 has already reduced funding to our current school systems is totally wrong. This bill has not even been implemented yet, therefore any planned reductions in these programs are based solely on “perceived” shortages that may or may not ever be realized. It seems someone is overreacting based on rumors and fears spread by those that oppose giving parents any say in their child’s education.

Sen. Ward and I respectfully ask that we wait to see what “actual” effects the Accountability Act of 2013 will have in our county before we start reducing successful and much needed classes at our schools.

State Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace