Alabama legislative agenda preview: Feb. 2 – Feb. 5, 2016

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With the first day of Alabama’s Legislative Session about to get under way, legislators have a slew of hefty proposals before them, including bills concerning a state lottery, gun laws, a teacher pay raise, and the always daunting task of balancing the state budget.

Legislators will hear from the Alabama Community College System Tuesday for another round of Education Trust Fund Budget concerns. Legislators will also hear from the Legislative Fiscal Office and Finance Department before the start of Tuesday’s 2016 Session.

Legislators will hear from a variety of committees on Wednesday, starting with the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m.

Later that day, legislators will hear from the Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation Committee to discuss Senate Bill 58, sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn). The bill would specify that the regulation of seeds would be overseen by the Board of Agriculture and Industries and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.

The committee would also discuss Senate Bill 62, also sponsored by Whatley, which would authorize the use of bait in the hunting of whitetail deer and feral swine.

The Education Policy Committee will also address legislators on Wednesday to discuss Senate Bill 60, sponsored by Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Mobile), which would terminate Common Core curriculum and have the state revert back to “prior courses of study.”

Legislators are also scheduled to hear from the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation Education on Wednesday, though the topics of discussion were unavailable.

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  1. Common Core also known as College and Career Standards has not truly improved the graduation rates of minority students in the State of Alabama. One of the claimed goals of Common Core Program is to close the education achievement gaps and stop inequality in education. While supporters of the program argue they are closing that gap in education, Common Core has failed minority students in our state by covering up the vast inequality for the political goal of a few.
    Common Core has harmed minority students instead of allowing them to have the same benefits and opportunities as other students had prior to Common Core. The graduation rates have increased…but not because standards and resources have improved for minority students. Graduation rates have increased because of the OPPOSITE reason.
    Common Core replaced quality educational standards that were beginning to allow the system to better address inequality with low Common Core or College and Career Ready Standards with low quality standards and resources for minority students. Problems minority students faced PRIOR to Common Core have not been addressed in the program. Since the standards were lowered for all students it is easier to cover up the gap harming minority students. This inequality is holding minority students back from their full potential. Common Core harms diversity and creativity because it is a one size fits all system.
    The only way we can help promote diversity and fight inequality in Alabama education is by closing the education gap for real.

    That can only take place if each of our educational leaders address the inequality by passing the Alabama Ahead Act (SB60) allowing educators, teachers and parents to get new standards which address these problems. Covering up inequality in our system does not help Alabama’s minority students.

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