Congressman Bradley Byrne, who represents the First Congressional District, has written a great article in praise of teachers.  And as a former member of the State Board of Education, as well as chancellor of our two-year college system, he knows far more about education than the average politician.  Which is probably one reason he serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee in Washington.

According to Byrne, “It has been said that one of the hardest jobs around is being a teacher. Even though it may be hard, teaching is one of the most important professions. Teachers have the great responsibility of training the next generation in our society.

“Teachers have the ability to take a student who may not have much of a family or may not be very well-prepared and turn him into a successful and committed individual with a bright future. Very few professions have the ability to totally alter the course of someone’s life like a teacher does.”

He goes on the recount the influence Kay Ladd, his first-grade teacher had on him, as well as the impact Colonel Tim Reddy had on his four children at Fairhope High School.

But as I read the Congressman’s article, one sentence jumped out at me, “Washington needs to get out of the way and allow teachers to do their job.”

Congressman, with all due respect, it is the leadership of your own Republican party in Montgomery, that is causing Alabama educators to pull out their hair–not folks in Washington.   I visit lots of schools, was in one today, and I NEVER hear complaints about Washington, they are always about Montgomery.

For instance, it was the leadership of the supermajority now in control of our state legislature that gave us the wonderful Alabama Accountability Act that has now diverted $54 million from our Education Trust Fund.  It was this same crowd who decided we must have charter schools so we can create another school system at the same time we can’t afford the one we now have.  And the same folks recently took $80 million from the Education Trust Fund to patch a hole in the General Fund budget.

The Congressman concludes his article with this comment, “So whether you are a parent, student, or just a community member, we should all be doing everything we can to highlight great teachers and support them every chance we get.”

Congressman Byrne, you are 100 percent correct.  Now will you please try to get some of your Republican colleagues in the Alabama Statehouse to understand this?