A blog called Yellowhammer News just cranked out an article saying that recipients of scholarships to private schools under the Alabama Accountability Act are pleased with the results.
Pardon me, but isn’t this about like asking kids on Christmas morning if they like their new toys or asking winners of the Georgia Lottery if they like the money they won? Or maybe they should have asked all of us Auburn fans who filed out of Jordan-Hare Stadium after the 2013 Iron Bowl when Chis Davis ran a missed field goal back to win the game with one second left on the clock if we were happy.
According to the article, the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund (an SGO controlled out of Florida) and the Alabama Federation for Children (the group that took $350,000 last year from out-of-state millionaires to spend on Alabama legislative races) teamed up to survey parents of students who got scholarships. Some 94.7 percent said they are pleased with their child’s scholarship school.
We know that more than 1,000 students who were already in private schools got scholarships. So is it a surprise that this parents are pleased they are no longer paying tuition?
I have little doubt that some students have benefitted from this program. But there are 733,000 students in our public schools. Don’t they matter? How is diverting money away from the Education Trust Fund to give private school scholarships and corporate tax breaks helping them? When did we decide they don’t count?
In the beginning the accountability act was supposed to help “failing schools” across the state. Why doesn’t the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund and the Alabama Federation for Children survey parents of students in these schools, along with teachers and principals, to see how the accountability act is making their schools better?