Montgomery knows best

Demonstrating the sort of hubris they recently campaigned against, state legislators on Tuesday told every public school in the state when it must take its summer breaks.
Gov. Robert Bentley could still veto the measure. He should.
The Legislature’s message was clear: Montgomery believes it has a better understanding of the needs of Decatur than do the elected school board members of Decatur City Schools.
The Athens and Hartselle school boards may think they have the best grasp on what is good for the communities in which they live, but they are mistaken. Montgomery knows best.
The decision was especially remarkable in context. With few exceptions, the legislators campaigned vigorously against Washington for substituting its voice for Alabama’s. That government which is closest to the people, they said, is best able to address the needs of the people. That theory, shiny in campaign speeches, dimmed in the spotlight of power.
Most of the legislators who voted for the bill also support a charter-school bill that would not require charters to follow the state-mandated school calendar. A major benefit of charter schools, legislators say, is that they need not follow cumbersome state laws imposed by past Legislatures.
Some senators resisted the urge to vote with the majority. Sens. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, and Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, were among the dissenters.
As Holtzclaw wrote in opposing the measure, “What happened to the Republican agenda of less government; a smaller government that is accountable to the people at home?”

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Filed under Alabama politics, charter schools, Conservatism

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