Doing what’s best for our children’s education

August 23, 2013 chris

Education should not be a partisan issue. We should always do what is in our children’s best interests.

I believe strongly in working with the business community to develop curriculums that prepare our children not just for a college education, but also for entering the workforce.

Last week’s announcement of the new Business Education Alliance (BEA) brings this idea to the center

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Time to invest in public education and stop punishing educators

August 16, 2013 chris

I have always been a believer in the value of education. And that is why I have always fought to protect our public schools and to fund them to the level that our children deserve.

But over the past three years, state leaders in Montgomery have done a very poor job of supporting our schools. And - for no other reason

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Alabama needs leaders who will be your representative to government, not the government’s representative to you

August 9, 2013 chris

When I was growing up, one of the most important lessons my parents taught me was to always remember who got me to where I am. Like that old saying goes, “you dance with the one that brung ya.”

As a state representative, I have tried my best to be true to that principle. So when I vote in the state

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Bi-partisan support for education reform begins with AMSTI

July 26, 2013 chris

I was very glad to see Gov. Bentley come out this week in support of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, more commonly known as the AMSTI program.

This program is something that Democrats have long been in support of, and I am glad to see Gov. Bentley and other Republicans joining with us Democrats in supporting AMSTI.

It is obvious

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Why we must inspire our children to public service

July 19, 2013 chris

Earlier this month, a new Gallop poll was released showing that sixty-four percent of Americans do not want their children to pursue a career in politics.

While I understand why Americans feel this way, I am also deeply disappointed by the results of the poll.

Certainly, politics has earned a bad reputation. There’s no shortage of stories about corrupt politicians

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What makes America great

July 12, 2013 chris

Last week, in recognition of Independence Day, I wrote about freedom and democracy and how these are both a right and a privilege. Freedom and democracy are what makes this country great. They are the reason that people are willing to risk their lives to come to this country.

But freedom and democracy are not the only the reasons why this

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Freedom and Democracy: a privilege and responsibility

July 5, 2013 chris

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. It is a special time each year when we celebrate our nation’s birthday (this year is our 237th birthday) with fun, food, fireworks, family and friends.

But it should also be a time when we reflect on what it means to be free and to have democracy.

Thousands of Americans have given

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Governor playing politics with people’s livelihoods

June 28, 2013 chris

Alabama’s state employees work hard. They make our state and local governments function. They keep our courts running and our streets safe. And for the past five years, they have done so while having their pay and their budgets cut. Even merit raises, which are given solely on the basis of the employee’s performance, have been frozen for the past

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Sneaking in the back door

June 21, 2013 chris

It is no secret that things in Montgomery have become much more partisan and tense since 2010. Some of that you would expect. After all, politics is a contact sport.

But over the past three years, our legislature - under the leadership of the Republican Supermajority - has embraced dishonest tactics to sneak radical legislation in through the back door.

This strategy

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“Stand in Schoolhouse Door” - a lesson about opportunity

June 14, 2013 chris

One of the things I love about the summertime is the celebration of our country and all that our nation represents, values such as freedom and opportunity.

A couple of weeks ago, we honored our fallen men and women in uniform with Memorial Day, and in about a month we will celebrate our nation’s freedom with Independence Day.

But this week also

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Republican Supermajority embraces anti-education agenda

June 7, 2013 chris

If there was any doubt before as to whether the Alabama Republican Party and the Republicans in the Alabama Legislature are waging a war on public education, those doubts have been put to rest now.

Last week, the Alabama Republican Party ann-ounced that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would be the party’s keynote speaker at its summer dinner in Montgomery this August.


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For veterans and families, every day is Memorial Day

May 31, 2013 chris

Earlier this week, we took a day to remember our veterans and fallen heroes who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

We have all heard the famous quote: “Freedom is not free.” And it is good that we take time to remember those who have given their lives so that we can be safe and free.

Since the Civil War, Americans

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Republican divide shows itself in legislative session

May 24, 2013 chris

It has been a telling year in the Alabama legislature. The taxpayers have learned a lot about their representatives in Montgomery from what has taken place over the past few months.

Of course, the most notable event was the Republican supermajority’s decision to deceive the people of Alabama (and even their own education advisors) by ramming through the Accountability Act with

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Republicans in Montgomery take one last jab at public education

May 17, 2013 chris

For the past three years, the Alabama legislature, under the leadership of the Republican Supermajority, has waged a war on public education in Alabama.

It started with cutting educators’ take-home pay. Next, the Republicans “dropped the DROP program,” though they waited until they could get their payout from it first.

This year, it started with the Accountability Act. Plenty has been said

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Another lost opportunity to debate Accountability Act

May 10, 2013 chris

I learned a lot of values from my dad. He served in the state legislature for 26 years, and one of the most important values he practiced as a legislator and that he passed on to me is that our government should operate honestly and out in the open so that the taxpayers can see what they are getting for

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Attempts to “fix” Accountability Act only serves to make a bad law worse

May 3, 2013 chris

This week, the Alabama House of Representatives once again has to vote on legislation that is meant to “fix” a bill that was rushed through the process and not thought-out before it became law.

If there has been a theme for the past three years since the Republican Supermajority took control of the state legislature, it has been “unintended consequences.”

Unintended consequences

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General Fund Budget is insufficient

April 26, 2013 chris

It’s that time of year when the state legislature writes the budgets that will fund our schools and government services.

Last week, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the Education Trust Fund, which funds all things related to public education. This week, the House will turn its attention to the state’s General Fund budget, which funds all state departments, agencies, and

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Education budget a slap in the face

April 19, 2013 chris

 It has been a rough year for public education in Alabama. In fact, for the past three years, the Republicans in the Alabama legislature have been waging a war on public education.
    And because of the education budget that passed the state House of Representatives last week, next year isn’t looking much better.
    Particularly, there are two proposals included in

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Accountability Act can’t be fixed

April 12, 2013 chris

 Repeal is the only solution

When Gov. Bentley signed the Alabama Accountability Act into law, he acknowledged that there were, in his words, “Some concerns [that] have been raised regarding the impact of this legislation.”

The governor also said he believed those concerns could be fixed through more rules and regulation.

At the same time, Republicans in the state legislature are saying

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Make our children’s safety a priority

April 5, 2013 chris

The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I believe in the truth of that scripture, and over the next couple of months we will see where our state’s leadership is putting their hearts.

As the legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, one of its top priorities will

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Be careful what you wish for…

March 29, 2013 chris

 Be careful what you wish for…
We’ve all heard the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” It seems that Republicans in the Alabama legislature are learning the meaning of this saying the hard way after they failed to show up for work this past Tuesday and ended up burning a legislative day and

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An ugly bill passed in an ugly way

March 22, 2013 chris

It is amazing to read what some legislators have written in the weeks since the state legislature passed the so-called Alabama Accountability Act.

The Republicans in the Alabama legislature who concocted this bill and the deceitful (not to mention illegal) tactics to pass it, are now trying to tell us that they followed the rules and thoroughly debated this bill, which

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We have to slow down the legislative process

March 15, 2013 chris

There has been a lot said over the past two weeks about the tactics used by Republicans in the Alabama legislature to pass the so-called Alabama Accountability Act. You have also read about how Democrats have responded by filibustering legislation and using the rules to slow the legislative process down.

I want to explain why Democrats are doing what we are

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Republicans in Montgomery broke promise

March 8, 2013 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford If there was any doubt that the Republican leadership in Montgomery is waging a war on public education in Alabama, those doubts were put to rest last week. By passing the so-called school “Accountability Act,” and doing so in the way that they did it, the Republicans in the Alabama
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Sequestration would be disaster for State of Alabama

March 1, 2013 chris

If there has been a theme for the Republicans in Montgomery this legislative session, it would be that the federal government is bad and we don’t need the federal government’s money.

While I am all for the state being in control of its own destiny, the truth is that we rely on the federal government in order to provide the services

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Governor, legislature treating state employees like second-class citizens

February 22, 2013 chris

I never thought that I would live to see a governor brag about how he has eliminated 4,000 jobs, especially in the middle of a recession! But two weeks ago, that is exactly what Gov. Robert Bentley did in his State of the State address.

The only thing more shocking than hearing the governor brag about how he has put 4,000

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School flexibility bill must be fixed or it should be rejected

February 15, 2013 chris

Public education is one of the most important services our state and local governments provide. All of us want to see our schools improve and our children’s quality of education rise.

For Republicans in Montgomery, their signature proposal for public education is a bill they call the “School Flexibility Act.”

What this bill would do is allow local school systems to seek

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Why the Democratic Party is not dead in Alabama

February 8, 2013 chris

 Since 2010, some people have argued that the Democratic Party is dead in Alabama.
    They are wrong.
    There are several reasons why Democrats not only are alive, but in good position to take back several seats we have lost.
    First, the 2010 and 2012 elections are not a good indicator of what is going to happen in 2014.
    In 2010,

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To get results, we must invest in our children’s education

February 1, 2013 chris

As legislators prepare to return to Montgomery next week for the 2013 Legislative Session, one of the biggest issues we will address will be public education.

Last week, Republicans in the state legislature announced their legislative agenda for this year. Their only education proposal was a school flexibility bill that would allow local school systems to seek waivers on state statues,

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What we can learn from Dr. King

January 25, 2013 chris

“…there is nothing greater in all the world than freedom. It’s worth going to jail for. It’s worth losing a job for. It’s worth dying for. My friends, go out this evening determined to achieve this freedom which God wants for all of His children.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 1, 1957

As our country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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