Ron Sparks: 'Byrne Humiliates and Insults Teachers'
His campaign issued the following statement Wednesday:
"Yesterday, thousands of classroom teachers and school support workers were publicly humiliated and insulted by the remarks made by (former) Chancellor Bradley Byrne. Making no attempt to cloak his contempt for the rank and file public education employees, Byrne launched an unwarranted and unfounded attack on the Alabama Education Association.
"Byrne said that advocates for public education, the most effective being AEA, have been “the single greatest impediment to quality education in this state” and that somehow standing up for school teachers “short changes” some of the hardest working folks among us. Perhaps Chancellor Byrne needs to reevaluate his definition of “short changed” and “impediment.”
• Ask a school teacher in any rural Alabama county who they can count on to stand up for them when an unruly Republican administration stands to cut their pay and benefits
• Ask a janitor at a small elementary school who he/she depends on when Mr. Byrne’s friends in Montgomery look to eliminate their jobs
• Ask a single mother trying to raise a family by herself how important it is to have somebody fighting to make sure that her children have the resources they need in the classroom
"(Former) Chancellor Byrne must feel a need to pick a fight with AEA to motivate the extreme right wing of his party who feels humdrum about his candidacy for governor. Ron Sparks has traveled the state from one end to the other, meeting and speaking with thousands of AEA members.
“Today, I’m proud to stand in support of the transformation AEA has delivered to our state’s educational system. I am also proud to be the only Democrat willing to stand side by side with AEA against baseless, politically motivated attacks such as this.
“Without the strong support of the education community, I wouldn't have won 62 out of 67 counties in my last election and been the leading vote getter among all Democrats on the ballot. Make no mistake about it, I will continue to be an active voice and an advocate for the hard working men and women employed in public education in Alabama.
"Much will be asked of the next governor of this state and those working in public education. It is absolutely essential that the next governor have a strong working relationship with the education community in order to weather the financial storms that loom on the horizon.
"With the impending financial crisis in this state, never has this relationship been more important. The Democratic Party cannot and will not thrive without the support of public education. We must have a partnership with public education to build a better, stronger Alabama."
-- posted by Markeshia Ricks