Voters in Limestone County go to the polls on Feb. 16 in a special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Dan Williams. The candidates are Democrat Henry White, who held this seat from 2006-2010, and Republican Danny Crawford.
We sent a questionnaire to both candidates asking their views on key education issues. Here are the responses of Henry White. Crawford is yet to respond after asking him twice to reply.
Because of short falls in the state General Fund budget, there is continuing talk of combining the Education Trust Fund and the General Fund. Do you think these funds should remain separate or be combined?
White: Absolutely separate.
In 2013 the legislature passed the Alabama Accountability Act. Reports from the state revenue department show that as of Dec. 31, 2015, it has diverted $66 million from the Education Trust Fund to be used for scholarships to private schools. At least 1,000 scholarships have gone to students who were already attending private schools. Do you think the Accountability Act is working as it was suppossed to? Do you feel that it has helped students in your district.
White: No, has not helped out at all.
Recently the draft of a bill known as the Rewarding Advancement in Instruction and Student Excellence (RAISE) Act of 2016 became public. Educators across Alabama have expressed their opposition to this bill. Do you oppose it or support it?
White: Definitely opposed to it
Educators were not asked for input on either the Alabama Accountability Act, nor the RAISE Act. Do you believe the legislature should formulate education policy without input from Alabama educators?
White: Definitely not
Do you think education is a profession and do you consider teachers to be professionals?
White: Yes and by all means they are professionals.
Did you attend public school for your K-12 education?
White: I did and would not be where I am today without public education.