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February 4, 2015     The Florala News
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February 4, 2015

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PAGE 4 • THE FLORALA NEWS - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015 The Florala News' editorial section is intended to provide our readers and citizens as com- plete an opportunity to express themselves with as few restrictions as possible. Profanity, direct or impfied, and attacks on one's person rather than on actions or deeds are not ac- ceptable. Pubfication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSE- MENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER. I I BI by Dr. John Hill Since 1992, public charter schools have offered families in other states a choice when it comes to which public school their children can attend. Charter schools are public schools that are publicly funded, tuition-free, and must enroll any student who wishes to attend as long as there is capacity for them. They are authorized through a legisla- tive contract (a "charter") with a sponsor, usually a local school district or state governmental body, which gives the school the flexibility to choose its teachers, curricula, and daily operations. In ex- change for this greater freedom, charter schools are evaluated by their authorizers every year to ensure they are meeting the standards established in their charters. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools that fail to meet their goals can be shut down. The main driver behind charter schools is to give families educational options beyond the school for which a student is zoned. Aside from the Account- ability ct's passage in 2013, the opportunity for choice has been limited to families who had the resources to either move to another neighborhood or attend a private school. Families lacking these resources, particularly single-parent households, who desire giving their students better opportuni- ties, have often found themselves trapped in public schools that offer mediocre academic grounding, at best. The introduction of charter schools in Ala- bama would provide an additional mechanism for choice in our public school system. = ! by Rick Manning The voters demanded that Congress stop this President's fundamental transformation of Ameri- ca using every power at their disposal, ending the Executive Branch abuses against both the citizen- ry, and restoring Constitutional balance of power and the foundational concept that individual rights are derived from God, not government. That is the preamble to a just-released "Citi- zens' VIandate" signed by more than 50 conserva- tive leaders, including this author. It is a strong reminder to the Republicans who run the ll4th Congress that they were elected to do more than go along to get along with President Obama under the guise of "governing." The "Citi- zen's Mandate" calls on this Congress to "use every power at its disposal" to stand up for limited gov- ernment principles and a restoration of Constitu- tio'nal government. The call to "end Obamacare; stop executive am- Successful charter schools are hotbeds of learn- on a handful of arguments that are not new and ing for'students of all backgrounds, including mi- have been used in nearly every state's public de- norities, the poor, and those with special needs. A bate over charters. Any attempt to expand school growing number of studies suggest that charter choice, no matter the vehicle, has been or will be schools perform as well as, and often better than, met with scare tactics on issues of funding, con- their traditional public school counterparts. In trol, and cherry-picking students. It is °time for many cases, the success of charter schools has cre- Alabama to move beyond these talking points, as ated so great a:demand that admission has to be so many other states have, and lay these concerns decided through a random selection process such to rest. as a lottery. If there is a silver lining to coming late to the To be clear, charter schools are not a fix-all to charter school game, it is that Alabama does not Alabama's public education woes. Not every dis- have to face uncharted obstacles of student selec- trict needs what charter Schools offer, nor does tion, teacher accountability, and• the myriad of every traditional public school need to become a other challenges to starting and operating a new charter. Nevertheless, charter schools have the kind of public school. Rather, we can benefit from potential to improve the academic outcomes of the decades of experience other states have gained hundreds or even thousands of students across as they have worked to improve their own charter Alabama who would otherwise be trapped in fail- school programs. ing public schools. As evidence of the popularity of these schools, to date, no state has repealed •its - Dr: John Hill is senior research analyst for the charter school laW. Alabama "Policy Institute (API), an independent • For as long as charter schools have been a choice non-partisan, non-profit research and education for public education in other states, the Alabama organization dedicated to the preservation of free Policy Institute has promoted their legalization, markets, limited government and strong families. Throughout much of .that time, reform-minded To speak with the author, email john@alabamapol- legislators had little chance of seeing a charter or call (205)870-9900. schools bill adopted due to the Alabama's political opposedenvir°nmentandtheeffectivemessaon °fth°se Eto choice in our public schoo,s .ence .................. Alabama remains one of only eight states in the i ..................................... ......... nation without a charter schools law, Much of the anti-charter messaging is centered I I who expect their leaders to put America first. Putting America first means challenging and throwing sand in the gears of President Obama's regulatory assault on the very free enterprise system that has made our nation the envy of the world. Putting America first means ending the Inter- national Monetary Fund's access to the U.S. Trea- sury for up to $100 billion so they can bail out failed socialist states and the banks that enabled them without additional congressional approval. Putting America first means carefully and thor- oughly examining international trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and not ceding con- gressional constitutional authority unless our na- tional interests "overwhelmingly demand it." America did not vote for this Congress to enable • Obama to accomplish his agenda; they elected this Congress to stop it, and for anyone in Washington to pretend otherwise is either disingenuous or out- 27 ........ I 58 d'sh Make the Switch to Dish Today and Save Up To 50% Call Now and Ask How! 1-800-318-5121 24 5O 66 Call 7 days a week Barn- llpm EST Promo Code: MB0113 32 52 "Offe( subjecl ~o change based c~n premium channel availab~(IIy nesty; hold the executive branch accountable for its right delusional. t,,ePoi,,, abusr,s of power and its national security failures People are tired of an alphabet soup group of THEME: PRESIDENT'S DAY1. "Cello Suite No. 1" composer both foreign domestic; and put the interests of agencies hke the the NLRB, FCC, EPA and DOJ 2. Site ofTaj Mahal the United States of America and Americans first actively working to keep Obama s campaign prom- ACROSS 3. __ of duty • 1. Cookie amount 4. Belief sh uld sound familiar to many of the current Con- ise to fundamentally transform America, and they 6. "You betcha!" 5. Detesting gress as it could have been ripped from the pages expect this Congress to not only fight, but to stop 9. Bartenders typically split 6. Safecracker of their 2014 election brochures, them from succeeding, these 7. Even, to a poet Now it is time for members to live up to those That is what the 2014 election was about, and it 13. Ancient Greeks' assembly 8. Like Raphael's cherubs commitments, is what the 114th Congress will be judged on. area 9. Be inclined 14. Snake-like reef dweller 10. H ipbones To keep the promise of the 114th Congress, Re- Obama will be striving to cement his legacy of 15. Gentorguy 11. Clever tactic publicans must reject the soft seduction of the cor- transformation, and this Congress will either be 16. Salad dressing vessel 12. Gabriel porate crony insider class that has dominated both complicit in his plan or they will follow the citi- .. 17. African grazer 15. -competitive race sides of the aisle for the past few years. Failure to zens mandate of November 2014 and they will18. *Trurnan's "State of the 20. White resist this pernicious corruption, as staff and mem- stop him. "was first one on TV 22. Not sa aseball 19-- - -Return to Normalcy" Presi- 24. Having physical sensation bers see their pathway to a McMansion in McLean, dent 25. *"Change We Can Believe Va. running from Capitol Hill through K Street, - Rick Manning is president of Americans for 21. *Uniform __ Holiday In" President guarantees a catastrophic loss of faith with voters Limited Government. Act 26. Courage in the face of dan- 23. A Beatle bride ger 24. Cowboy's prod 27. Vinyl collectible J I 25. Eggcells 29. *"No Child Left Behind" 28. Wisecrack President LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: 30. Old fashioned expression of 31. Impermanent employee ( i-.l i disapproval " 32. Characteristic ' " •35. Bruce Wayne in "The Dark 33. Throat dangler ' The Florala News welcomes Letters to the Editor Night" 34. *"Tippecanoe and __ | All letters will be published at the discretion of the | 37. Chinese dynasty from 960 Too" to 1279 36. Anglo-Saxon nobility title | / editor/publisher. No letter will be published that does | 39. High-strung 38. Apple variety | / [ //not bear the actual name of the writer and their city or | 40. Jessica of "Dark An- 42.Bumpkin | town of residence. A contact number or e-mail | 41.gel"Kind of test-- 49.45 ChinesePresident"way"F°rd's VP 43. Stake driver " 51. Knights' breastplates | / address is required but will not be published. | 44. *The nation did this in Nov. 54. T-shirt style I Letters cannot be returned. I63 with Jackie46. Saintly glow 56. Fairytale garden dweller57. Whip lash mark 47. Stack 58. It shall, for short The Florala News 48. Bracelet for the arm 50. "Scene one, __ one" 52. Feather glue? 53. Cleanse 55. Bird-to-be 57. *"He Kept Us Out of War" was his slogan 60. *He hailed from Hope 64. BBQ spot 65. Building addition 67. Dry white Italian wine from Verona 68. Tim or Woody 69. *George H. W. Bush led it in the '70s 70. "The Lego Movie" hero 71. Join together by heating 72. Barbie's beau 73. Nostradamus and Tiresias, elg. DOWN 59. Behaved like Pinocchio 601 Family or kin 61. Like a broken horse 62. Last word in radio transmis- sion 63. They now play in Brooklyn 64. "Hand" with claws 66. *George Washington couldn't tell one? last week's solution CIHI IIAI TIHI RIAI ~INI 3 HIYI