Monday, January 17, 2011

The Lynching of Public Education in Alabama

I'm convinced the status quo republicans in the state of Alabama want to destroy public education in Alabama. After all we just inaugurated a governor who doesn't believe every child has the right to go to college, and elected a red, republican state legislature whose first order of business was to destroy the Alabama Education Association.

Now comes the Lynch v State of Alabama school funding lawsuit where civil rights attorney's claim the states method of funding schools purposefully discriminates based on race.

Alabama history is headed before a federal judge in Huntsville, as civil rights attorneys argue that the state's method of funding schools purposefully discriminates based on race.

At stake are the state's property tax rates, the lowest in the nation. Attorney James Blacksher of Birmingham contends that tax structure violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, largely by limiting the ability of rural counties to tax wealthy white landowners.

"Because of the anemic property taxes available to most local school systems, low-income students throughout Alabama, who are disproportionately black, suffer from underfunding," contends the suit.
Sweet Home Alabama is a state that cares more about property values than they do educating it's children. Strike that, the State of Alabama cares more about protecting property values than they do educating poor/disenfranchised/minority students.
Concerns over public housing can still draw a crowd, as almost 250 people on Tuesday gathered for the second meeting of the South Huntsville Civic Association.

"We need something in south Huntsville they've had in other parts of Huntsville for years - a cohesive voice," Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks announced from the stage at Grissom High School.

Brooks, one of two key speakers, said that the Huntsville Housing Authority has quietly used vouchers to send poor families south and plans now to single out south Huntsville for more.

In February, the authority surprised homeowners with the outright purchase of 50 units at Stone Manor near Chaffee Elementary. That sparked a raucous public meeting at Chaffee on April 6 and led to the creation of the civic association.

On Tuesday, the upstart group drew an influential crowd, including Republican Brooks, a former legislator; newly elected state Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville; state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur; and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne.

Going through the numbers at Whitesburg Elementary, Brooks argued that schools in south Huntsville have seen test scores drop "thanks in large part to what the Huntsville Housing Authority has done to us."
This is what happens when property values are tied to student/school achievement.
But the state argues that any forced change in tax rates would decrease all property values, injure all property owners who plan to sell, paralyze the commercial real estate market and cause "widespread havoc in Alabama's government and real estate markets."
Yep, opponents know what buttons to push to distract from the real issue, which is racial discrimination.
It has been projected that the relief sought in Lynch could result in 1000% property tax increases on residential and forest land, 500% on business property and 300% on utility properties.
Projected by whom? According to new anointed Left in Alabama Legal Contributor Old Prosecutor, the information is from unsourced articles. I thought factually incorrect information wasn't allowed on the front pages of Left in Alabama, but I digress.

Alabama's property tax rates are the lowest in the nation as is student achievement. Because of the current property tax structure low income students in Alabama, who are disproportionately black suffer from the underfunding. Students live where their parents can afford to live. Students with affluent parents have access to the best public education their parents tax dollars can buy. Students with low income parents have access to the worst education their parents tax dollars can buy.

The state of Alabama might as well give up trying to run a public education system because it's obvious some don't believe believe every child should have access to a quality public education regardless of race, gender, religion or their parents station in life, like this ;
If you live in a poor county and you dont (sic)believe that the school in your area is up to standards the simple and obvious solution is that you move. I would not let my children attend a school that I believed did not prepare them for the future. The problem is you could throw billions at the schools in these black belt areas and you would still end up with the same low level perfomance (sic)that they have now. The reason is that education begains(sic) at home with a caring father and a mother with values and a work ethic who push their kids to do well. And that is something the vast majorty(sic) of these kids dont(sic) have and will never have no matter how much you spend...
That's right, blame the parents with false, media driven, racial stereotypes. Education begins in the classroom with a certified teacher who is given the resources to educate children in a safe, orderly environment that is conducive to learning. One things for sure, not throwing billions at the schools in the black belt areas has produced the same low level performance. Only a fool does the same thing hoping for a different result, so let's "throw billions at the schools in the black belt" and see if we get a different result.

I have a dream one day the citizens of Alabama will care more about the future of it's children than they do maintaining their property values.


Character Education said...

Thanks for your work, this is really what we all need to know, i am sure it can give a positive attitude to the society.

Redeye said...

Thanks for reading Character Education, and thanks for your work also.