Thursday, 12 April 2012 18:29
“Our schools have been cut for four straight years, we’ve lost good teachers and haven’t bought the basics like textbooks and classroom supplies. The cuts are hurting children and it is time these cuts are stopped,” said local UniServ Director Sheila Cornelison. “The downturn made everybody tighten their belts, including schools. Now there is a recovery underway, and it is clear the Legislature can begin to restore funding. Instead, they are talking about cutting another $150 million in next year’s budget, a cut that is unnecessary and hurtful to our local schools. I’m going to Montgomery to tell them not to do it.”
The unnecessary cut is caused by the Rolling Reserve Act, a law passed last year that withholds funding from local schools, stuffing it into reserve that educators are concerned will become a slush fund politicians can raid in future years.
“That concern has been heightened when the House passed two bills allowing school funds to be used as cash payments to corporations. HB159 and HB160 let corporations keep the state income tax withholdings of its workers. The state income tax makes up the majority of every local school budget, and the only constitutionally guaranteed source of funding. The bills are supposed to be a jobs incentive, but under the terms of a bill a company can lay off 33% of its workers and get to keep the school funds to pad their bottom line,” Cornelison added.
Another focus of the rally is the opposition of charter schools. Charter schools in neighboring Florida are often run by for-profit companies, take funding away from existing schools, and research shows do not do as well as tradition public schools. Rally goers believe that we need to fund the schools we have, not start a whole new system that is unproven to work and drains needed resources.
For more information about bus and other transportation being organized by local educators contact Sheila Cornelison, the local Alabama Education Association representative. For more information about the rally, go to the website: saveourschoolsalabama.org.
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