With now-former State Rep. Charlotte Meadows' (R-Montgomery) loss on Tuesday and the retirement of long-time former State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston), the future of a school choice bill making it through the Alabama Legislature in the future is very unclear.
Meadows and Marsh led charges in their respective chambers over the years but could never break through the opposition and be successful.
During his weekly appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN's "The Dale Jackson Show," State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) encouraged school choice advocates to take up the cause.
According to the Morgan County lawmaker, who also chairs the Education Trust Fund budget committee in the Alabama Senate, public buy-in was the best way to get members of both chambers to do something about school choice.
"I think it depends on the public," Orr said. "I think the public — if this is something they really want, they need to let their legislators know and be, you know, earnest about it by emails, phone calls, letters, whatever. Unfortunately, Dale, a lot of things that you see in the legislature are, in any legislative body these days, be it Congress, be it a state legislature — a lot of it is driven by special interest groups. And sometimes, a lot of times, those special interest groups have money. So, the school choice movement, not so much a special interest group but.
"I think it would be welcomed if they were to speak out. If it's just sort of ho-hum, then I don't think you get a lot action in the legislature because – I'll use a word that's used in the hallways, quote, 'nobody cares,' end quote. There's lots of good issues out there, but you kind of get tagged with nobody really cares because my phone's not ringing, or her phone's not ringing, or his phone's not ringing to do something about a particular issue. So, there's a shrug and kind of a move-on attitude."
Jeff Poor is the executive editor 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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