So we just told you about Rep. Terri Collins and her bill to have the State Superintendent of Education hired by the governor. As well as about her changing her mind and pulling this bill.
But not to worry. We now have two more bills that both want to have the folks of Alabama vote on a constitutional amendment to make the State Superintendent an elected position. Yep, like have people run for school superintendent instead of being hired by the State Board of Education.
But wait. It gets better. One of the bills states, “The authority and duties of the Superintendent of Education shall be determined by the LEGISLATURE.”
Honest. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Once again we have folks at the Statehouse who are trying to grab all the power they can. The very same folks who gave us the Alabama Accountability Act that has diverted $66 million from the Education Trust Fund, charter schools, the rolling reserve act and A-F school grades for starters now want to take control of the system that has responsibility for schooling 730,000 students.
And why stop with just electing a school superintendent. Let’s elect all cabinet members. Elect the head of the Health department. After all, I’m sure the good folks of Alabama are as qualified to pick the state’s top doctor as they are the state’s top educator. What about the head of mental health, or the head of the department of revenue or the head of law enforcement?
Just look at our track record of electing folks. We elected a governor who is up to his eyeballs in hot water on several fronts. We elected a Speaker of the House who is facing trial for 23 felony counts. We elected a legislature that had to have two special sessions last year to pass a general fund budget.
And who will fund the campaign for State Superintendent? The Business Council of Alabama that just spent $325,000 on three seats for state school board would certainly be a player. StudentsFirst that spent $200,000 on 2014 legislative races and never told us where their money came from? The Alabama Federation for Children that spent $350,000 on legislative races in 2014 that all came from rich folks in Michigan, Arkansas and California?
Again, I suggest that if this is such a great idea that the sponsor and co-sponsors of this bill introduce local legislation to do the same thing back home. We already elect something like 37 local superintendents so why not ALL of them?
Surely the same legislators who want to stop the members of the State Board of Education from hiring a superintendent feel just as strongly about their own local school boards.
Or do they?