Editor’s note: John Moon of the Alabama Political Reporter, is one of the handful of investigative reporters left in Alabama. As such he is used to taking politicians to task. He recently took aim at Senator Del Marsh, a frequent opponent of public schools. for a bill he is proposing. Here are excerpts from his article:
“The bill, sponsored by Del Marsh, is the latest in a long line that takes from public schools and students that can least afford it.”
Somehow, State Senator Del Marsh managed to do worse. Yes, it was bad enough that Marsh brought to committee on Tuesday a bill that specifically allows public schools to deny entry to children with special needs — an abhorrent proposal and one specifically deemed illegal by federal law. And one the Republican-led committee passed in a 7-3 vote.
But despite the awfulness of such a proposal, that wasn’t the worst of Marsh’s time before the committee on Tuesday morning.
No, the worst of it was when Marsh, the biggest crutch for the Alabama Accountability Act, stood before the committee — while being questioned about his bill by Sen. Vivian Figures — and said that he was greatly troubled by Alabama’s current school funding structure and that he would love to see more money go to struggling schools.
“…. no one has done more to take funding from struggling schools over the past decade than Marsh.
Marsh was the primary sponsor of the 2013 Alabama Accountability Act, and he has been the sponsor of numerous “improvement” bills related to the Act. If you’re unfamiliar, the AAA was illegally passed and serves as a way to divert tax dollars that would ordinarily go to public schools and instead sends them to private, for-profit schools.
It does absolutely nothing to aid “failing schools” — most of which are located in economically depressed areas — but instead purposefully sucks money and students away from those schools and gives them to private schools.
He’s proposed legislation that has asked for more money for the AAA on at least two occasions. This despite the per-pupil allocation under the Act being higher for students attending private schools than it is for the students who remain enrolled in their zoned public schools.
Marsh also has asked for more money for the charters, proposing in 2019 that some local tax dollars also follow students to the charter schools.
Marsh is now back proposing yet another escape hatch. And of course, he’s also proposing a means to keep more vulnerable students — learning disabled kids this time — from clogging up the hatch.
All of that is bad, of course. But it pales in comparison to the fact that it’s being proposed even while Marsh — and many, many others — knows where the real problem lies.”
You can see the entire article here.