Former AEA chief Paul Hubbert dies

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Paul Hubbert courtesy: AP

Paul Hubbert
Courtesy: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Powerful Alabama teacher lobbyist and former gubernatorial candidate Paul Hubbert has died. He was 78.

A spokeswoman for the Alabama Education Association said Hubbert died Tuesday afternoon at a Montgomery hospital. Spokeswoman Amy Marlowe said he was hospitalized Oct. 6 after a fall and died from complications.

Hubbert served as leader of the AEA from 1969 until his retirement at the end of 2011 for health reasons. He took a low-key organization led by school administrators and turned it into a political kingmaker that could pump more than $9 million into elections in one year.

Alabama political leaders released statements shortly after news of Hubbert’s death.

“It is difficult to believe that Paul Hubbert has passed away because while Alabama governors and legislators have come and gone, he was a constant in the corridors of the Capitol and the hallways of the Alabama State House for decades,” said Alabama House Majority Leader Micky Hammon. The Decatur representative added, “Whether lawmakers agreed with him on the issues or not, they always respected him and knew they could count him at his word.  I doubt Alabama will ever see another lobbyist amass the power and influence that Paul Hubbert commanded.”

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard said “While we were usually on opposing sides of issues, Paul Hubbert was a man who commanded respect and whose word you could trust,” Rep. Hubbard also said “The turmoil within AEA since Dr. Hubbert’s retirement has revealed the great difficulties in replacing him.  He will be remembered as the most powerful unelected leader in Alabama politics, and his imprint will be felt for many years to come.”

Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford also released a statement. “Dr. Paul Hubbert changed Alabama. From the dramatic improvements to public education, to the rise of AEA as a political force in Montgomery, Dr. Hubbert made a huge impact on our state. He fought for and won huge victories for educators, but he also fought for education and to make sure every child in Alabama had a chance to get a quality education.”

Hubbert told reporters at his retirement that he wanted to be remembered as someone who cared about education.

 

6 comments

    • Christopher

      While we are all entitled to our own opinion, we are not entitled to our own facts… “As a lasting legacy to their commitment to the teaching profession and public education, Dr. and Mrs. Hubbert dedicated the proceeds of their entire estate to the University of Alabama College of Education to provide scholarships for students pursuing certified teaching degrees. The Paul and Ann Hubbert Endowed Scholarships are awarded to Alabama residents who require financial assistance to attend college and who share the same dream as Dr. and Mrs. Hubbert – a great public school for every Alabama child.”

      • LAC

        Fact- Mr Hubbard was the largest recipient of the DROP program for AL state retirement yet not a state employee- fact

      • Say What

        Christopher, you must forgive our extremist right wing friends. They can’t think of anyone not being greedy and selfish — because they are that way they think everyone is!

      • Say What

        LAC, who is this Mr. Hubbard that you are referring to in your post? We are celebrating the accomplishments and generosity of Dr. Hubbert in this forum.

  • Louise

    People would rather believe a lie if it supports their personal opinion than the truth if it challenges it. The truth is that Dr. Hubbert used the wealth he amassed to help needy students who desire to be educators.He even used the money that he acquired through the DROP program. No, he was not a state employee but AEA paid his salary and the retirement salary for the DROP program. The State of Alabama lost teachers and could not keep enough certified teachers in classrooms because of a lack of health care and retirement benefits before Dr. Hubbert took the helm. Read the history of education in Alabama. And now since we have a group in our legislature who wants to make a buck off public education funds, we have the distinction of being #1 in Cuts to Education in the entire country! This is hardly something to be proud of.

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