Educators will fight for funding

Published 2:48 am Friday, January 1, 2016

The new year could be an eventful one for education, Opp Superintendent Michael Smithart said.


“The changes on the federal level relative to the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act will be far-reaching,” he said. “This act essentially ends the era of No Child Left Behind and should allow for greater decision-making on the state and local level with regards to testing and accountability, thereby easing some of the mandates we have struggled to meet since its inception. We have to wait on the final guidance, but it seems to be a great stride in the right direction.”

While schools should have more discretion, finding the dollars needed will continue to be a challenge, Smithart predicted.

“On the state level, it’s always the budget,” he said. “I think school systems have done a terrific job in managing for the past several years, but we are in desperate need of additional dollars. We must keep up with ever-changing technology to provide our students with the greatest opportunity to compete with students around the world.

“We need more dollars in the classroom,” he said. “Our teachers are working tirelessly to meet the needs of our students and have not had a raise in eight years. I hope 2016 changes that.

“On the local level, we will continue to use the best teachers in Alabama to teach the best students in Alabama,” he said.

“We have our challenges, but we meet them head on and we will graduate the class of 2016 prepared for the college or career of their choice.”