7/1/2007 - July 2007 SLI Newsletter
This month our Educational Update gives the 2007 Alabama Legislature Regular Session report. All of us who were involved in it unanimously agree it was the most unusual and, in many ways, the most difficult session we have experienced. It was, above all, the least productive session that we can remember.
While our assistance concentrates on pro-family legislation, the Legislature considers many other proposals to meet the needs of Alabama citizens. Many of those very important needs go unmet because of the control of special interests. There is a general lack of good faith and public interest. While we expect elected representatives and senators to work for their respective constituents, we expect they all should work for the general public good. That is not the case.
Mainstream media reports did not seem to criticize the small group of senators who held up Senate processes due to unethical and overbearing practices by the majority, but neither did mainstream media really investigate and report the truth about the situation. Special interests control the majority Senate leadership and they were not concerned with the overall general public good, but with achieving their own private interests, much of which would not have been fair to or necessary for the general public good. These elected officials were not working hand in hand to resolve minor differences to reach a necessary end product. The majority selfishly wanted its own way and had no regard for anyone else. We would expect the same in the 2008 Session.
In addition to our efforts in the Legislature, we have been involved with proposed changes to Special Education Services, Rule Number 290-8-9. This is a section of the Alabama Administrative Code which regulates how assistance is given to children with special needs. The definition section was specifically written in such a way to omit church schools and specifically noted and omitted home schools. We prepared a legal comment which was filed with the State Department of Education. As a result, the offensive definition was removed and Alabama will rely on the existing federal regulation which provides a broad definition for nonpublic education. This will permit children with special needs in church and other non-state certified schools to receive assistance. We will monitor later enforcement to be sure there is no discrimination. If you know of any, please contact us. We will give you a full report later.
We are in the midst of a summer drought. SLI also has a drought in our contributions. Like us, many nonprofit organizations suffer during summer months due to vacations and pursuit of other interests. Nevertheless, we continue our work and our needs and expenses continue. Please remember us with as generous a contribution as you can make and continue to pray for us to be bold in our initiatives and sincere in our efforts. Thank you for your support.
Yours very truly,
A. Eric Johnston
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