|To: Alabama Legislators
From: Eunie Smith, President Eagle Forum of Alabama
Apparently you have received misinformation regarding Eagle Forum’s position on an Article V Convention. Please read carefully Eagle Forum Board Member Andy Schlafly’s short statement following, forwarded to me on 5/3/15:
“I completely oppose an Article V Convention. It is a dangerous threat to our values and our Nation. Congress or judicial activism would likely require that the voting at such a convention be in proportion to population, and thereby dominated by liberal states. They would probably put a right to abortion and homosexual marriage into the Constitution, and repeal the Second Amendment. There is nothing good that can result from an Article V Convention, because Congress and the Courts will not feel restrained by a new amendment any more than they comply with existing text. Even proposing an Article V Convention has the harmful effect of devaluing the Constitution we cherish.
The original Constitutional Convention was made possible by rules of secrecy against media interference. That is impossible today, and thus the liberal media would obtain the result it wants. Pinning one’s hopes on an Article V Convention today is like a bankrupt man turning to gambling to solve his family’s financial problems. Hard work, in electing good people who defend our existing Constitution, is what is needed. The pie-in-the-sky, dangerous proposal of an Article V Convention should be rejected. (11/16/2014)”
Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq.
Proponents of a Constitutional Convention have insisted that a Convention could be limited to the one issue of a Balanced Budget. However, Yellowhammer quoted the House Sponsor as saying that the “Convention would be limited to a small set of issues….” Unfortunately, such limiting is wishful thinking because a convention once convened, is a law unto itself. All it takes is a majority proclaimed by the chairman of the Convention, and anything goes.
The Student and Parent Privacy Protection Act HB267 was filed yesterday by Rep. Arnold Mooney, with 35 co-sponsors. The bill is a result of a large bi-partisan effort to protect student privacy in Alabama. Thirty-three states have already passed similar legislation. The bill must pass out of the Education Policy Committee. Its members need to hear from us. Please encourage the following members to vote HB267 out of committee ASAP: Chairman Collins, Vice-Chairman Rich, Robinson, Butler, Drummond, Fincher, Henry, Moore (B), Patterson, Pringle, Scott, Todd and Williams (P). Please contact your State Representative (http://alabamaeagle.org/find-your-legislators). Tell him your child's privacy is important to you and your family. Ask him to support this bi-partisan effort to protect the privacy of our children. Thank the co-sponsors: Fridy (M), Moore (B), Wingo, Black, Hammon, Beech, Williams (P), Daniels, Farley, Whorton (R), Holmes (M), Hanes, Todd, Fincher, Williams (JW), Whorton (I), Shedd, Ainsworth, Ledbetter, Scott, Drake, Pettus, Warren, Knight, Harbison, Hall, Polizos, Henry, Carns, Brown, Martin, Standridge, Beckman, Wadsworth and Givan. What does this bill do? This bill sets limits as to what data may not be collected and shared. It provides for what data may be used on the local level to a minimum degree for clearly stated academic purposes. It sets limits on the State government and data collection systems and programs in order to protect students and parents from invasive government practices. It protects the civil liberties of students and parents which are foundational to strong academics, freedom of speech and progress. It limits the collection of certain sensitive information and the disclosure of personally identifiable student information to third parties. It provides for enforcement and penalties. Why is it needed? There is not adequate privacy protection at the state or federal level currently to protect student privacy in Alabama’s Public Schools. As technology has developed rapidly the laws are not in place to address the pressing civil liberty violations facing students and parents. Students are being used as pawns in experimental programs, tracked by the government and tracked by corporations targeting these students to sell and research their products. What protections will be provided by HB267? • Keeps data and student information on the local level where it was intended to be used for the benefit of the student and not outside agencies or corporations. Prohibits the broad sharing of personal data collected on Alabama’s students. • Protects personal identifiable student information from being shared without specific protections. Requires the state and third party contractors to follow certain security and privacy protection measures. • Prohibits the collection of highly sensitive information on students, such as religious affiliation or political beliefs from being collected by the school system. • Requires parental and student notification for the use of their personally identifiable student information. • Removes loopholes which stop parents and students from having real accountability once a privacy violation occurs. • Prohibits invasive overreach of outside parties obtaining personally identifiable student information. • Provides parents and students with access to monitor their child's personal record so that they can ensure information is correct and that violations have not occurred. • Protects parents and students from unfair treatment from the state for exercising their privacy rights. How can you help? E-mail or call your State Representative today. Ask them to support House Bill 267! We need the Student and Parent Privacy Protection Act passed this session! Please go to our website to find your legislators. http://alabamaeagle.org/find-your-legislators
|May 22, 2015An Open LetterDear Alabama Legislator,The deep and sustaining desire that every child in Alabama will be given the best education possible to be ready to act upon God’s leading in his or her life is surely important to you.
To that end, please consider finding more creative solutions than what is offered in the one size fits all Common Core curriculum. Because we live in a one stop, instant coffee type of environment, we can be misled to believe that something like Common Core will fit the desired bill; but mounting research indicates that COMMON CORE will do more harm than good; hurting most those least able to pull themselves up out of the current educational environment of muck and more. All children need to and deserve to access their full God-given potential. By design, Common Core treats every child as a statistic to be measured by standardized tests.
The following statement from the Chicago Teachers Union in opposition to Common Core is relevant: “Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom …We also know that high-stakes standardized testing is designed to rank and sort our children and it contributes significantly to racial discrimination and the achievement gap among students in America’s schools.” 9/8/2014 This sorting of students in Alabama based on the color of their skin or their parents income and the setting of lower achievement goals for African Americans than Caucasians has been widely reported. If teachers are told to expect less from minorities, they are likely to get less.
Additional concerns regarding Common Core are the lack of access to parents and local communities in contributing to what children are taught and how they are tested. Please ask yourself this: “Will our students be indoctrinated against the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness enshrined in our Constitution?” These American values remain part of the sustaining success of our nation. Yet, there is a not so subtle erosion of these values. By design, Common Core will only add to this decline. When Common Core is fully implemented, parents and our local communities will have little to no control over what is taught to our children through nationally prescribed Common Core assessments and the curriculum that has been developed to match those assessments.
Also, with the full disclosure features of Common Core, invasive, non-academic personal and family data being kept on state data bases will be at risk, with little or no guarantee that they can and will be protected.
As public Servants, you have the power to really assist children, their families and the communities you represent; please regain control over education in Alabama by passing the Alabama Ahead Act (SB101, HB424) ASAP. You can enable students to rise to new heights instead of holding them down to the lowest common denominator.
May God bless you – especially in your legislative endeavors that impact so many people.
Alveda Celeste King
ASAP – Please ask your State Representative and key legislators listed below to vote for the Alabama Ahead Act (HB424) to restore sound, state-controlled education in Alabama so that our students will excel, not just be common. Please let us know their response.
Speaker Mike Hubbard; Education Policy Committee Members: Chairman Terri Collins, Oliver Robinson, Mack Butler (co-sponsor), Barbara Drummond, Bob Fincher (sponsor), Ed Henry, Barry Moore, Jim Patterson, Chris Pringle, Rod Scott, Patricia Todd, Phil Williams, Chairman Rules Committee Mac McCutcheon. To find your Representative, click here.
If your representative is a co-sponsor, please thank him and ask that he encourage Speaker Hubbard to put HB424 on the Special Order Calendar.
HB424 co-sponsors: Bob Fincher (sponsor), Arnold Mooney, Matt Fridy, Tommy Hanes, Ritchie Whorton, Nathaniel Ledbetter, Corey Harbison, Mike Holmes, Rich Wingo, Dickie Drake, Jack W. Williams, Randall Shedd, Steve Hurst, Mike Millican, Ron Johnson, Dimitri Polizos, Reed Ingram, Paul Beckman, Randy Davis, Issac Whorton, Lynn Greer, Phillip Pettus, Mack Butler and Steve McMillan.
|May 13, 2015
To: Governor Robert Bentley
Members, Alabama Senate and House
From: Eunie Smith, Eagle Forum of Alabama
You are in our prayers as you make the hard, limited-government choices that result in the most cost-effective government and the most liberty for our citizens. We wish to share the following four points with you as you wrestle with budget decisions. Explanations follow.
1. It is NOT a foregone conclusion that the Poarch Creek Indians will have any gambling going forward.
The push for a compact is premised on the notion that Indian gambling is here to stay, and therefore we might as well tax it. This is a false premise! It is being used to convince conservative legislators who would otherwise oppose gambling to give up and support a compact!
The Alabama Attorney General has a strong case pending in the federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (in Atlanta) that could be decided in a matter of weeks. If the appeal is successful and the Attorney General eventually wins the case, it will undermine the right of the Poarch Creek to conduct any gambling operations in Alabama!
For over five years, the issue of “electronic bingo” has been fought out in case after case in Alabama state courts. It is this form of gambling that has been conducted up until now on both Indian and non-Indian land in Alabama. Just a few months ago, in a case called Houston County Economic Development Ass’n. v. State (November 21, 2014), our Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that finally settles the matter once and for all: so-called “electronic bingo” is illegal under Alabama law. Only paper bingo is allowed. Now that this ruling is in place, there is good reason to believe that the federal courts will take notice and rule that, since this gambling is illegal under Alabama law on non-Indian land, federal law will not permit it on Indian land either.
In addition, the case brought by the Attorney General also includes a sound argument that the land on which all of the Indian gambling is being conducted in Alabama was not even properly taken “into trust” for the benefit of the Poarch Creek tribe. In a 2009 case called Carcieri v. Salazar, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that only Indian tribes recognized as such by the federal government in 1934 could benefit from land taken into trust for them by the Secretary of Interior. Alabama’s Poarch Creeks were not recognized as a tribe until the 1980’s!
2. We’re not just talking about gambling on Indian Reservations.
If we enter into a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, non-Indian gambling bosses will never let us hear the end of it. They will keep pushing until they have the same rights. Once we “cross the Rubicon” and become a gambling state, the political pressure from non-Indians to be treated “equally” will be relentless. (The tools available will include massive political contributions to those who favor increased gambling and equally massive contributions to recruit and support opponents for those who oppose increased gambling.)
The result of gambling expansion is NOT more reliable net revenue to the state. However, the costs are reliable: more addictions, more family breakdown, more divorces, increased crime, increased law enforcement and public assistance programs, business and restaurant closings … See http://stoppredatorygambling.org/
3. Gambling Interests will Take Control of Politics in Alabama.
In Mississippi today, whenever a new law is proposed in the legislature, the first question legislators ask is “Where are the casinos on this?” Do we in Alabama really want to turn control of our state politics over to the gambling bosses?
Right now the two biggest donors in Alabama state politics are the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Business Council of Alabama. Of course there are other “players,” but these are the two dominant forces. But if we legalize casinos, the amount of cash generated will easily swamp the combined political resources available to current donor groups. The gross profits from three or more Las Vegas style casino operations could easily exceed $2 million dollars a day. Whether Indian or non-Indian, the gambling money is huge, it is politically minded and it will likely not be chasing after conservative candidates. Gambling money will control Alabama politics. (While there is talk of restricting political participation by casinos, this is only being proposed as to Indian casinos; and, besides, substantial First Amendment questions exist as to whether any such restrictions will be enforceable.)
Make no mistake: Signing a compact with the Indians will usher in a new era in which gambling bosses will control Alabama politics. They will have much more influence than most people realize over who we elect to our courts, as our Governor, and as our representatives in Montgomery and even in Washington.
4. There is Another Way – Un-earmarking and combining the budgets
“The solution to Alabama’s budget ‘crisis’ is so simple it will blow your mind,” according to Yellowhammernews, which explains that there will be a surplus in education trust fund tax revenues this year of $287 million! This is almost exactly the same amount as the projected shortfall of $290 million in this year’s general fund budget! So without one dollar from gambling interests, the State already has enough money to fund essentially the entire deficit! What is required is that we un-earmark all or even just part of the excess money that is now restricted. And much of this money can be un-earmarked simply by an act of the legislature.
Additionally, the legislature can continue to cut out inappropriate expenditures; and it is time to combine our education and general fund budgets. If 47 other state legislatures can manage dollars used for education without a separate budget, so can Alabama. Please consider these options as you move forward.
We are excited to announce that we have a commercial airing now on the Rick and Bubba Show (WZZK), regarding Dr. James Milgram’s warning of the “irreversible harm” that is likely to occur after four years of Common Core Math. Alabama students are currently experiencing their third year. See the text of the ad below, or you may click on the link to hear it (will not play on Explorer). Then contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to support SB101 in the Alabama Senate and HB424 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Visit our “Find Your Legislators” tab here to find and contact yours.
Students in Alabama will soon embark on their 4th year of common core mathematics. Professor James Milgram, a national expert on school math standards, has a warning for Alabama parents. “Alabama friends, you need to be aware that four years of common core math can do students irreversible harm based on our experience in California”. Professor Milgram knows what he’s talking about. He authored the 1997 California Standards proving to be the best math standards in the nation. His advice to us: “Ask your state Senator to support Senate Bill 101 in the Alabama Legislature”. Go now to Alabamaeagle.org. There you can email your state legislator directly. Ask your state Senator to support Senate Bill 101, and repeal common core. “Protect Alabama students from the irreversible damage”. Again, that’s Alabamaeagle.org. Paid for by Eagle Forum of Alabama.
This week we learned of the impending danger for Alabama children if we don’t stop Common Core in THIS legislative session. Stanford Professor James Milgram is the acknowledged national expert on Math standards writing. Based on a huge set of data on the failed 1992 California standards written by the same Phil Daro who was the lead author for the Common Core standards, Dr. Milgram addressed the following question:
“ ‘ How long would it take for a student initially in the Phil Daro 1992 program before its low level and erroneous perspective on mathematics would have produced irreversible damage?’ What the data showed was that if a student had been in the program for four or more years … statistically they never recovered… So you have a situation with the Common Core mathematics standards where you have a limited window and you pretty much know what is going to happen … because the guiding ideas behind it are the exact guiding ideas behind the 1992 CA standards.”
Alabama students are being tested on their THIRD year of Common Core math. Next year – their FOURTH year – will be too late for most Alabama students. They will never recover from the irreversible damage as experienced by California students.
For the full text of Dr. Milgram’s letter, click the link below.
If we are to stop the distress, the dumbing down, and the indoctrination of all our children through common core; if we are to restore state control over education policy in Alabama; if we are to replace common core with the best of the best standards in the nation that reflect Alabama values, YOU will have to act NOW!!! And ask all your like-minded friends to do the same. We need an avalanche of emails to the legislature.
Sen. Rusty Glover (R) has introduced SB101. It will re-establish local and state control of education; terminate implementation of the Common Core standards; direct the State Board to replace these standards with the Math and English courses in use immediately prior to Common Core; convene Course of Study committees to update these standards and improve upon them using the pre-common core standards from states whose national scores ranked no less than the top 10%; implement these proven, improved standards and aligned assessments; prohibit imposition on Alabama of other such national standards or assessments that cede control away from Alabamians.
1. Call or email these Senators and thank them for co-sponsoring SB101 and let them know if you are their constituent. Glover, Reed, Melson, Allen, Brewbaker, Hightower, Albritton, Bussman, Stutts, Smith, Shelnutt, Sanford. Tell them briefly why your family wants common core replaced.
2. Please email and call your state senator and Sen. Del Marsh and Gov. Bentley and tell them briefly why your family wants common core replaced. Ask them to put SB101 on a fast track!
3. Call or email your House member and Speaker Hubbard. Tell them briefly why you oppose common core. Ask them to replace common core this legislative session.
Alabama’s children will be increasingly stifled, frustrated, and controlled if common core continues. We are on the wrong road and we need to turn around before we become hopelessly lost. We must stand for what works to give our children the tools they need to reach their fullest God-given, self-chosen potential. It is up to you. You can find more contact information for legislators by following this link: http://capwiz.com/state-al/home/; and for the Governor at http://governor.alabama.gov/contact/.
Eunie Smith, President Eagle Forum of Alabama