One of the most vocal proponents of school choice in the last quadrennium was State Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery).
Meadows was elected in a special election in 2019 to fill the unexpired term of the late Dimitri Polizos. She now faces a difficult reelection bid in a newly redrawn State House District 74 against Democrat nominee Phillip Ensler.
However, despite the challenges that lie ahead, Meadows is optimistic about the prospects of school choice in the upcoming quadrennium.
She said some of the likely new Republican members of the State House had expressed their interest in pushing forward on school choice.
"You know, Jeff, I am optimistic that some of the new people that are being elected – were in May and being finalized in November – are going to bring a new appetite for school choice," Meadows said. "I actually met with ... Susan Dubose, who is elected as the Republican nominee for District 45 up here in Birmingham. She's very excited about working with me on school choice legislation. So, I was really happy about that.
"Getting interested in meeting some of the other females that have been elected down in your part of the state. I’m hearing good things about them, and I'm excited they also may be interested in working on some school choice issues. It's a non-partisan issue in my mind because everybody wants children to succeed. And right now in Alabama, we do not have high expectations for our education system."
Meadows said parental expectations are important.
"And the more we can encourage parents to have those high expectations, the more parents will demand what's best for their child," Meadows added. "And that may be the local public school that's down the street, or it may be a school that is down in the next county. Who knows? There's so many other things we can do in Alabama to have school choice that we do not do."
Meadows offered Arizona's school choice program as a blueprint for Alabama, adding that it is similar to the Parents' Choice Act introduced by State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) earlier this year.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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