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Arise statement on the Lynch v. Alabama ruling
Three times this year, Alabama’s schoolchildren had a chance to clear the racist legacy of their education funding at long last. Three times, we’ve let them down.
First, the Legislature created a Constitutional Revision Commission that could have revised the antiquated tax system embedded in our 1901 constitution. Instead, lawmakers refused to allow the commission to address the tax article.
Next, the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment that gives voters a chance to purge racist language from the constitution. Despite the objections of the Black Caucus, the amendment blatantly sidesteps the question of our children’s right to an education. While the framers of the constitution asserted that right in 1901, it was removed during the segregationist era, and it needs to be restored.
Meanwhile, students and parents in Sumter and Lawrence counties asked the courts to go where our lawmakers fear to tread. Now they have their answer. Instead of finding that Alabama’s inadequate public school funding disproportionately affects Black schoolchildren, U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith, in his Lynch v. Alabama decision this week, agreed with the state that voters have the right to structure the tax system as they choose.
The history of education in Alabama has had more than its share of blighted years. 2011 is one of them.
Poverty up, median income down as recession's effects linger in Alabama
Alabama's poverty and child poverty rates were the nation's fourth worst last year, and the state's median household income was the fifth lowest in the country, new U.S. Census Bureau data released today show. Deep budget cuts to education, health care and other public services could make the state's poverty and income pictures even bleaker, ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said.
Statement by Arise state coordinator Kimble Forrister on President Obama's deficit reduction plan
"President Obama's plan to put our nation's budget on a more sustainable path gets two big things right. It would take a balanced approach of both spending cuts and significant new revenues, asking corporations and wealthy Americans to share in the sacrifice. It also would shield children, seniors and low-income families from the bulk of the cuts, a wise move during a time of historically high poverty."
Affordable Housing Trust Fund leads Arise 2012 policy agenda
A plan to create affordable housing for low-income and homeless Alabamians will top Alabama Arise's legislative agenda in 2012. Arise members set goals for the coming year at the organization's annual meeting Saturday in Montgomery. The group also voted to work for repeal of Alabama's new anti-immigration law, considered the harshest in the nation.
Recession leaves more Alabamians uninsured, in poverty, Census data show
The Great Recession has left more Alabamians in poverty and without health insurance coverage, new Census Bureau data released today suggest. But those already-high numbers could climb even higher in coming years if Alabama does not provide adequate funding for Medicaid, education and other programs that help low-income people improve their lives, ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said.