Analyst: Actions On School Flex Bill Silence Parents, Education Leaders

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Controversy swirls around the flurry of legislative activity that passed a sweeping education reform bill.

School Flexibility changed dramatically and then flew through the legislature - all in a day's work.

WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown says, "The argument's been made, 'Well yeah, but we got this accountability passed free of lobbying influence.'  Well, it was also free of any opportunity for public input."

Brown says examining these bills carefully, parsing every word, and comparing it to current state laws slows things down, but it can serve a key function, "Part of the whole process of sending bills to committees and having hearings and so forth is to allow legislators to climb a learning curve, to hear how it will affect different people's lives.  They didn't properly vet this bill."

Actions in the state legislature convince Brown that lawmakers made a bold declaration with this bill.

Brown explains, "Essentially, legislative leaders said we don't want to hear from locally elected school board leaders.  We don't want to hear from the state Board of Education.  We don't want to hear from local superintendents.  We don't want to hear from the state superintendent."

When it comes to education, almost everyone has an opinion, but according to this analyst, all but a few voices were silenced.

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