What is your position on education?
Education funding -- Alabama Trust Fund
"Our children need the best possible education. Getting a good education has an immeasurable impact on an individual's life not only financially but in creating happiness. Our First Class Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math and Science Initiative have paid major dividends. We need to continue those programs and continue to expand access. As a business man and entrepreneur I apply the same concepts to education as I do small business. The education trust fund over the past ten years has grown approximately 6-8% a year. The education trust fund was established so the interest earned would be used to further opportunities in education for our children and ultimately the State. It is larger than the general fund because of good planning by prior conservative leadership. The interest earned provides more than adequate resources to fund our education to our students and our teachers; however the money must be spent differently than it has been in the past. We have to find ways to keep kids in school; find ways to reach out to them if they have issues at home that are not conducive to a good education. Right now, the administrative funding and spending far outweigh what is spent on the student and provided to the teachers. We have to spend more on the kids and provide the teachers with the resources they need in the classroom. The special pet projects for the legislatures have to stop affecting funding inside the classroom. We need to get the money to the people who make education what it is. This amount has to go to the students and the class room and not the other resources. Just as in business you take care of your people that make your business successful, so we need to take care of the folks that make your school system work. I hear every day that teachers have to raise money in their classrooms to fund things such as buying lesson books and for field trips and other things. Funding is always a major aspect of education, but throwing money at problems is not always the best answer. We need quality teachers and we should pay them well. I support performance bonuses for teachers. But we should also have more accountability. Failing teachers and failing schools have to be addressed, our children deserve the best education possible, and with continued good planning and a willingness to cut wasteful spending at the top we can achieve this goal."
More on Education- "I support some type of charter schools legislation in Alabama. Charter schools could be an option for children and families that live in areas plagued by chronically underperforming schools however charter schools should have guidelines to make sure that their teachers are as qualified as the public school teachers. I also believe that it is important that Alabama be on an even playing field when competing with other states for federal education funding. Without some type of provision for charter schools, our state will be penalized when it comes to getting our fair share of federal funding for education. We are one of only eleven states that have not implemented charter school programs. We should learn what other states have done well, where they have made mistakes, and then develop and plan that is suitable for Alabama. As your Legislator I will do my back to get the funding to the place that it needs to be."