Cities only as strong as their local schools

September 13, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford In the military, we have a saying that a platoon is only as strong as its weakest soldier. That concept applies to a lot of things in life, and especially to how we as a society treat our public schools. Public schools are the backbone of any city or town. They train
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Teachers, retirees deserve better from state leaders

June 14, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford The education budget passed by lawmakers in the final days of the 2019 legislative session is the largest in terms of dollars that the state has ever spent (though, when factoring in inflation, we still are not spending as much as we did before the 2008 recession). For the most part, the
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Equal pay bill is huge step in right direction

June 7, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford One of the positive things to come out of the 2019 Legislative Session is a piece of legislation that has finally brought pay equality to Alabama. Until last week, Alabama was one of only two states in the country that did not have any laws requiring equal pay for equal work (the
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Education and state retirees also deserve a pay raise

May 17, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford I sometimes feel like a broken record, but here we are once again. Another year, another budget, and another failure to provide our retirees with a cost-of-living pay raise. It’s becoming a disturbing tradition that every year I have to write about our state legislature’s failure to treat our retirees with the
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If Andrew Jones’ tax increase bills are good for Etowah County, why doesn’t he pass them for Cherokee And DeKalb?

May 3, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford Two bills being introduced by our new state senator Andrew Jones (R-Centre) have stirred up a lot of controversy over the past couple of weeks, and for good reason! The first bill Sen. Jones introduced would raise our local gas taxes, as well as other taxes. This would be in addition to the
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Good solution to Tier 2 system

April 12, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford Unintended consequences are a common problem when it comes to making laws and government policy. A good example of this is the changes lawmakers made in 2012 to the retirement systems for education and state employees. The economic recession that began in 2008 had severely hurt the Retirement Systems of Alabama’s investments. The
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Robbing Peter to pay Paul

March 22, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford One of the problems exposed during the gas tax debate was the fact that $63 million dollars a year gets diverted out of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s road and bridge funding to pay for state troopers and the court system. The logic – if you can call it that – for this
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We should be building great schools instead of great prisons

March 1, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford Earlier this month, Gov. Kay Ivey announced her plan to spend almost a billion dollars of taxpayer money to build three new prisons for men. There will be no new prisons for women, even though it was the conditions at the women’s prison in Elmore County that started the whole prison debate.
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The Alabama Policy Institute’s four lies about “school choice”

February 1, 2019 chris
By Craig Ford In a recent editorial, the Alabama Policy Institute (API) attempted to label four of the arguments against “school choice” as myths. I guess that’s what you have to do when the truth doesn’t fit your agenda. But the truth does need to be told, and the misinformation coming from the API needs
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"Yes, you can vote for Craig Ford and still vote a straight party ticket. Here’s how…" - Rep. Craig Ford

November 2, 2018 chris
Several people have asked if it’s possible to vote a straight party ticket and still vote for me for State Senate. The answer is, yes! All you have to do is “Double Bubble.” First, you fill in the bubble next to your political party and then fill in the bubble next to my name in
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How you vote in November could decide whether or not you get to vote on a lottery

October 12, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford The lottery has been talked about for decades in Alabama. There’s no question that the voters support it, but the state legislature has failed to pass a bill that would let the people vote. Two years ago, the lottery almost made it through the legislative process before it died in
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Why aren’t we paying our Alabama educators what they’re worth?

September 21, 2018 chris
By Craig Ford Alabama State Superintendent Eric Mackey said last week that Alabama’s public school teachers are “overwhelmingly well-qualified.” His assessment came after the State Department of Education issued its latest report cards on the college and university programs that prepare our teachers. Our public school teachers do a great job; there’s no doubt about
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If Mississippi can pass a lottery, then so can we

August 31, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Alabama can no longer say, “Thank God for Mississippi.” The Mississippi State Legislature recently passed a state lottery, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has said he will sign it into law. This means that Alabama will now be one of only six states in the entire country – and the
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Every school should have an SRO officer

August 17, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Now that school has started back, a lot of attention has been given to the issue of school safety and security. Concerns over school safety and, particularly, the possibility of a mass shooting are nothing new. Though the Columbine massacre that happened nearly 20 years ago was not the first
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New school year starting now but should be starting later

August 3, 2018 chris
Rep. Craig Ford Remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day? In a matter of days, students all across Alabama will start a new school year, and we’ll only be one week into the month of August! Instead of spending the last few weeks of August working summer jobs or on family vacations, teachers
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Could we finally get a lottery passed next year?

July 6, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Alabamians have been asking for a lottery for years. It continues to be one of the most popular ideas polled year in and year out, yet we still don’t have a state lottery. But there’s a chance that could change next year. The Alabama Legislature won’t return to Montgomery until after
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Alabama’s bridge to nowhere

May 11, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford You may have seen ads on television recently talking about a bridge project in South Alabama. If you hadn’t heard of this project before those ads, you’re not alone. Most people, including legislators, were not aware of the plans to build this $87 million-dollar taxpayer-funded bridge to nowhere that even
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Alabama’s Pre-K program leads nation but thousands of kids remain without access

May 7, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford When I was growing up, kids didn’t start learning the alphabet until they began kindergarten. Today, kids are expected to be able to write their names and read at least some words before they even begin kindergarten. The expectations are higher, and starting off behind everyone else in their class can
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How We Can Make Our Schools Safer

April 13, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Education is the most important service our government provides, and one of the top issues impacting education is school safety. Unfortunately, it seems like every conversation about school safety always turns into a debate about guns, and nothing ever gets done. But there are a lot of things we can –
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Who will be our next state superintendent of education?

March 30, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford The state legislative session has come to an end, but legislators won’t be the ones making the most important decision our government will make this year. The State Board of Education will make that decision in April, when it selects our next State Superintendent of Education. For all of the high-profile
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Let’s make universal pre-K program a reality in Alabama

March 9, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford I believe that everyone between the ages of four and 64 should either be in a good school or a good job. That is why one of my long-time goals has been to see every four-year-old in Alabama have access to the state’s nationally-recognized pre-K program. The state has done
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Educators and retirees deserve a pay raise

February 9, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Eleven years is a long time to go without a pay raise. But for educators, state employees and retirees in Alabama, that’s how long it has been. And for retirees and many state employees, they have actually had their pay cut during those 11 years. You may be thinking that educators,
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Legislators should not ignore infrastructure, education and jobs because it is an election year  

January 15, 2018 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford The legislative session began this week and, by all accounts, it’s expected to be an uneventful year. The only goal lawmakers seem to have is to pass the budgets and go home. But there is a lot of work that can and ought to be done instead of just kicking
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College Professor gets it wrong on K-12 teacher…… with State Representative Craig Ford

December 29, 2017 chris
George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams has written an editorial where he insulted every school teacher and every university in the country – including the one that employs him – by claiming that, “With but a few exceptions, schools of education represent the academic slums of colleges,” and that “American education could benefit from
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My Christmas wish is a good education for all children  

December 15, 2017 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford When my kids were growing up, I don’t know who was more excited on Christmas morning – the kids opening their presents or me and Gwen watching them! Ever since God gave us the original and best Christmas gift, our Lord and Sa-vior Jesus Christ, giving gifts has been a part
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State leaders have lost their credibility on prison issue

December 1, 2017 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford With all the attention being given to the special election for the U.S. Senate, you may not have seen what has been happening in Montgomery with the prison crisis. Last year, Gov. Robert Bentley proposed a plan to build four new “super prisons” at a cost of about $800 million dollars.
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Remembering our veterans for this Thanksgiving season

November 17, 2017 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford Every Thanksgiving, I like to write an editorial about the things that I am thankful for. I’ve written about how thankful I am for my family and for public servants like Alabama’s educators. But this year, I want to say how thankful I am for our country’s veterans. We just celebrated
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Sports teach lessons that you might not learn in classrooms

September 29, 2017 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford We all know that education and jobs go hand-in-hand. If you want to get a good job, you have to have a good education. And having good schools is an important part of recruiting jobs and industry to a community. Education gets a lot of attention in Alabama. You hear a
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Should Dr. Sentance be fired?

September 15, 2017 chris
The State Board of Education recently met to discuss terminating State Superintendent Dr. Michael Sentance’s contract. Politics has surrounded Dr. Sentance’s time in Alabama, starting even before he was hired. And if the board decides to fire him, his supporters will claim that politics was the driving factor. Dr. Sentance was the preferred choice of
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Agri-business center a great addition to mega sports complex

September 8, 2017 chris
By Rep. Craig Ford Tourism and hospitality is a $13 billion dollar a year industry in the state of Alabama. That number comes from the Alabama Department of Tourism, and was included in a press release Gov. Kay Ivey put out last month. But tourism and hospitality don’t just come from our beautiful beaches and
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