Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I have been asked about the proposed amendments a lot here lately. I don't feel comfortable making a suggestion concerning how people should vote. However, I do encourage everyone to do is to make an informed decision. Here is a link that will take you to the actual amendments. Click here for the link and then click on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot in the upper right corner.
Posted by Tommy at 2:38 PM
Friday, October 26, 2012
Unfortunately, the death of a student or recent graduate is a sad truth in schools. There are no magic bullets and no formula for how to deal with such tragedy. All schools try and provide counseling when students need it, and there are certain standard procedures recommended by experts, but each case is unique.
Posted by Tommy at 12:40 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Posted by Tommy at 5:02 AM
Friday, October 12, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
At least 10,000 students from across the country have already signed up to visit the new MathAlive! exhibit that opened Saturday at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Don’t miss it!
I have encouraged Dr. Deborah Barnhart, leader of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, to position the Center as the “Pied Piper” for Math. Dr. Werner Von Braun believed his legacy was an Education Legacy. Dr. Von Braun is the foremost American Mathematician and an Alabamian whose story is beautifully tied to an American milestone achievement – winning the “Space Race” and putting our astronauts on the moon.
March of Dimes / Mary Scott’s 40th Birthday – Thursday, October 25!!!
On a personal note, I will celebrate my 40th birthday on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Westin Hotel. You are invited! I have chosen to raise $40,000 for the March of Dimes to celebrate this milestone, and I will be chairing the Signature Chefs Event.
My youngest son, Caleb, was born eight weeks early four years ago. Premature baby medical science supported by the March of Dimes saved his life. Read the story that inspired me to do this, and please join me for the party! Individual tickets as well as group/table ticketing and corporate sponsorships at various levels of giving are available. Please contact Pam Ogg to make arrangements -- POgg@marchofdimes.com or 256-585-6243.
K-12 Education Budget (ETF) / Education Trust Fund Update
ETF Increase -- I am increasingly optimistic that the current growth rate will be sufficient to fund next year's budget. We anticipate an increase of $407.7 million for next year. The Board had its first work session on the budget this month. While not exciting, an item of need for local systems is restoration of “Other Current Expenses” or “OCE” which funds such items as school buses.
Education Employees -- The Board and Superintendent also hope to recoup the loss of 1,300 teachers – a necessary move in order to grow academic achievement. The Board also discussed raises for employees. Dr. Bice presented the matter as it relates to “fairness.” My comment was, "This is not so much for me a question of fairness as it is quality work force.” I certainly believe teaching is a calling, but as with any profession, competitive pay keeps the field desirable to attract and keep high quality employees. My comment seemed to be received by Dr. Bice and the rest of the Board favorably. For every 1% of pay increase, the ETF is drafted $35,000,000.
My opposition to Diversion or Combination -- While I did not support the Constitutional Amendment on the Alabama Trust Fund, the good news is that the ETF should be safe from the practice of “diversion” which refers to moving proper general fund items to the ETF. I remain opposed to a combined budget. My comment at this month’s work session is that the ETF is a long term investment in prosperity while the General Fund goes mainly to our short and medium term operating expenses. Both are important, but politics will usually sacrifice the long term for the short term. I am not willing to chance that with a combined budget, and I believe my job is to protect the future of our state for the long term through solid education policy-making.
New Chancellor -- Dr. Mark Heinrich was named Chancellor. I welcome him and believe the Board made a great choice. Fellow attorney and Educator, Susan Price, was our interim. I commended her. She took on some difficult problems and made headway in her short time.
Athens State University – I supported the college gaining its own Board of Trustees independent of the Alabama Community College System. This was the logical next step for this uniquely-missioned college which educates at the upper division two-year level. I will sit on its first Board of Trustees and am looking forward to this honor.
Drake State Technical College – Drake gained its SACS accreditation, which represents a significant accomplishment. I support and laud Drake’s desire to uniquely position itself in the future as a comprehensive community college with a focus on Technical Education. This harkens to its legacy as well as the future of community college education.
Calhoun Community College – Calhoun in Huntsville finally received permission from the Board to make some much needed improvements to the Huntsville campus. Their proposal was rejected by the Board last year, but the proposal in August was unanimously supported by the Board. Calhoun will, in partnership with Athens, be celebrating the grand opening of the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur this month.
Northeast Alabama Community College – This month marks a very significant milestone. I was privileged to speak at the groundbreaking of the new Technology, Science and Math Building. The building will sit at the front of the campus and be prominent from Hwy 35, the main artery from Scottsboro to Fort Payne. This investment in our work force in the Sand Mountain region will lead to good jobs.
Gadsden State Community College – Much work was done this year to protect Gadsden’s budget. Gadsden has historically been funded at a higher per-student rate than other colleges. I commend President Staats, an able and gifted leader and a fellow Air Force officer. His words to me: “Give me a glide slope I can land my plane on.” Meaning, he understands the need to contract his budget, and I am supporting that process happening at a proper rate. Infrastructure needs will continue to be addressed, however, and I plan to spend time in Etowah County early next month to review those needs.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you.
1_1349634376596381 class=yiv185433019MsoBodyText>MARY SCOTT HUNTER
Representative-Alabama Board of Education
District 8 (Limestone, Madison, Jackson, DeKalb, Etowah)
P.O. Box 18572, Huntsville, AL 35804 ●1-888-531-1312
Posted by Tommy at 9:00 AM
Friday, October 5, 2012
Picture Day culminates a week full of activities, but really every week is full of activities. Next week of course is especially full due to homecoming week.
will have its usual week full of crazy costumes and fun along with a parade.
Homecoming is always a fun week for students and we are sure this year will be
It is hard to believe it is already October and volleyball season is winding down. The Lady Tigers recently held Senior Night, which is always the last regular season home game, to honor their volleyball seniors. The county and area tournaments are coming up in the next two weeks and we are excited about our chances this year in volleyball. Our coaches and players have worked very hard to make this a great year.
Our football team continues its winning ways as well. Midway through the season our team is 4-1 and excited about the possibility of making the play-offs for the first time in a long time. The coaches and players are to be commended and we look forward to seeing what the remainder of the year holds in store.
Cross Country is the newest sport at
Ardmore, but it is really catching on. Our
Cross Country team improves every year and we are now beginning to be very
competitive in the matches we attend. Many of the athletes we compete against
have been running for many years and this makes a lot of difference in races. The
athletes continue to work hard and we know they will do a great job during the
remainder of the year.
Our band is having another exemplary marching season. The show this year consists of songs from the group
Alabama. Our band is doing an outstanding
job performing the songs and the crowds are enjoying the show. The band has one
more marching competition remaining this year and we know they will continue
the excellence they have shown thus far this year.
A group of young people valuable to our school is our cheerleaders. Our cheerleaders do an outstanding job at pep rallies and at the ball games. The cheerleaders work very hard during the entire year. The summer is spent practicing and since they cheer for football and basketball, they are busy all year. Our coaches and cheerleaders are dedicated to our school and do an outstanding job of helping with our school spirit.
We are very fortunate here at
Ardmore to have such wonderful students,
parents, and staff. We have a loving community that takes a lot of pride in
their school. Our school continues to strive to provide a world-class education
for our students and we are very appreciative for the place we call home.
Posted by Tommy at 1:38 PM
Click here for an article.
Posted by Tommy at 11:52 AM
Monday, October 1, 2012
I want to thank all parents, teachers, and students for your cooperation on October 1, 2012. The most difficult situation is when decisions have to be made immediately before students are to be released, because time is a major factor. Every decision is based upon the safety of our children.
Know that we will never leave campus until every child has a ride home regardless of the situation. On days like today when buses are delayed we will keep them secure until the weather passes. On days when buses are not running at all, we will stay until parents can come pick them up.
Posted by Tommy at 2:03 PM