Even though Governor Robert Bentley caused a huge uproar earlier this week when he claimed public education in Alabama “sucks,” he remains unapologetic and has now released a video trying to put a different face on his remarks.
He admits that he has heard from a large number of educators in the state and apparently wants us to believe that he has at least focused attention on our public schools. Which seems to me about like the Emperor of Japan proclaiming that all Americans knew where Japan was after they bombed Pearl Harbor.
Of course, Governor Bentley serves as President of the State Board of Education by virtue of the office he holds. He first took office on Jan. 17, 2011. There have been 74 state board meetings since then. He missed 66 of them. In other words, he missed 89.2 percent of all the meetings he was supposed to preside over.
If I have ever seen a failing grade, that is one of them.
And if the governor was in the sixth grade in an Alabama public school, the truant officer would have been looking for him for quite a while. Or if he was a teacher who showed up only eight out of 74 days, he would be called an ex-school teacher now.
The K-12 school budget is more than $4 BILLION dollars. There are 740,000 students in our public schools and nearly 100,000 teachers and support personnel. The governor wants us to believe he cares deeply about all this money and all these people. But when the state board of education is discussing issues impacting them, he governor is a no-show.
And once again we are all reminded that “actions speak louder than words.”