Recently the Montgomery County school board (which I am on until the end of November) passed a resolution calling on our legislative delegation to work to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act. The Baldwin County board had already passed a resolution and now Mobile County has as well.
Within hours my email inbox began to fill up with notes from parents in the Montgomery area asking that I not take away their child’s scholarship to a private school. I politely replied to each that the accountability act is a creation of the legislature and local school boards have no power to do anything other than express their concern about how it is impacting their local budget.
I found it interesting that the majority of these emails came from parents with children in one particular Montgomery private school where more than 40 percent of their student body gets an AAA scholarship. As best I can determine this school is owned by one person and is not affiliated with any non-profit group or organization.
Several days later I sent the following email to each parent who had contacted me:
“You are one of several who recently emailed me regarding Montgomery public schools and students getting scholarships to private schools. again, I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. It did not go unnoticed.
I would love to have the opportunity to talk to you, and the others who wrote me, about this situation. Specifically, I would like to know of your concerns about MPS and what steps you may have taken to address them with school personnel. Without doubt this school system has issues. And I think it is only when we have honest and forthright discussions about them that we will make progress.
Would you be interested in meeting with me, and the others who wrote, for dinner one night. I’ll treat.
Look forward to hearing from you.”
Guess what? Not one person responded. Which leads me to wonder just how concerned are these parents about education, or did someone just give them a piece of paper with my email address on it and were told that I was trying to take away their child’s scholarship?