While the state's teachers' union, the Alabama Education Association (AEA), publicly claims a "neutral" position on the CHOOSE Act, passed in the House earlier this week, the group is still working behind the scenes to change the legislation.

As the legislation now awaits consideration by the Alabama Senate, the AEA is urging its members to ask for a cap.

The group sent out a text blast on Friday:



Take action now! On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved HB129, known as the CHOOSE Act. The AEA collaborated with legislative leadership and the governor's office, making significant progress through amendments. While we express gratitude for this joint endeavor, during the public hearing last week, the AEA spoke in opposition to the bill, voicing concerns about the absence of a funding cap.

Amy Marlowe, the AEA Executive Director, urgently emphasizes the need for your support. In a statement released this week, she stated, "While AEA has worked with others in a good faith way to fashion a bill that does not hurt Alabama schools, it is important to note that Alabamians - including a strong majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are overwhelmingly opposed to unlimited funding being diverted from the Education Trust Fund for this program. We want to continue working to find common ground on this proposal as the bill moves to the Senate, but a cap must be included to protect the future of our local schools, or it should not pass." While the bill provides a minimum of $100 million yearly for the program, no spending cap has been implemented. This means an unlimited amount of revenue meant for your local schools could be diverted each year for this private program.

As the bill moves to the Senate, Marlowe stresses the importance of finding common ground. A cap must be included in the bill to safeguard the future of local schools. Your action is crucial- urge your SENATOR to support the inclusion of a cap in the bill to protect Alabama Schools. Don't let this bill pass without the necessary safeguards for our schools' future!

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Alabama Policy Institute president Stephanie Holden Smith rejected the organization's claims of neutrality and argued it was focused on "protecting the status quo."

"As predicted, the Alabama Education Association is once again opposing educational freedom for Alabama families," Smith said. "This organization and their national union funders don't care about students, they care about one thing: protecting the status quo."

"No matter what liberal teacher's unions say, we will not stop fighting to expand opportunity and educational freedom. We believe that families know what is best for their children and the Alabama Policy Institute will always stand shoulder to shoulder with them to protect their God-given rights," she added.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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