The following statement is from Dr. Gregory Graves, Associate Executive Secretary Alabama Education Association.
"On Monday, August 26, 2013, a lawsuit was filed challenging the Alabama Accountability Act as unconstitutional under our state constitution. We support this effort because this ill-conceived and illegally enacted law will have a hugely negative impact on Alabama's students, our schools, and our state.”
The ten-count complaint challenges the Accountability Act under various provisions of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. The claims can be grouped into three basic categories: violations in how HB84 was passed, violations dealing with the earmarking of funds, and violations regarding public funds being used for charitable and religious institutions.
In this year alone, the Alabama Accountability Act will cost the taxpayers of Alabama $40 million. “Regardless of how many students actually relocate to private schools, $40 million dollars have been set to fund this law. The role of public education funding in Alabama is to educate our children, not to provide welfare to private schools. The Alabama Accountability Act takes money from all of Alabama's children that need it and redistributes it to a small number of private schools which is a clear violation of our state’s constitution.”
“Across Alabama parents are being asked to buy toilet tissue, paper towels, hand sanitizer and other items because our schools can’t afford them. Hoover has decided to cut its bus service because of a lack of funding, yet the government is asking Alabamians to pick up the tab for their tax give away. Left unchallenged, the cost of this act to taxpayers will continue to grow to astronomical levels at the expense of Alabama's public schools.”
The framers of the 1901 Alabama Constitution saw that the legislative process needed to be open and transparent and that government had no business subsidizing religious ministries.
“The people of Alabama value education because they know how critical it is to the future of our state, its economy, and the promise we make all of our schoolchildren to educate them. The Accountability Act will destroy that promise, and that's why we are supporting this challenge."