I commend Troy for his excellent column on school reforms being pushed by Republican governors.
Alas, there always seems to be one exception that proves the rule, one skunk in a beautiful garden party, one, uh, floatie in the punch bowl… and one cliche too many in an otherwise insightful blog post (meaning mine). In this case, the exception is Alabama’s Robert Bentley, elected at least in part with the help of the Alabama Education Association, who (I reported recently) had watched the defeat of what should have been a simple effort to allow charter schools, all while he provided scant leadership on the issue. Well, now Bentley has done even worse: He has announced that he will not even include a charter-school bill in his legislative package next year, despite the fact that the House and Senate leadership (Republicans all) want it.
The editorial board of the Mobile Press-Register gently chided Bentley for his abandonment of the cause. But that promises to be just the start of the reaction. Some Tea Party groups are rumbling about the abandonment, and there will surely be more public opprobrium heaped on the governor. After all, if Jindal, Christie, Daniels (and in earlier iterations, Jeb Bush, Tommy Thompson, and Lamar Alexander, among others) can push meaningful school reforms, why can’t Bentley, in a state desperately in need of them?