Politics & Government
1:33 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Congressman Bradley Byrne Talks Education, Aviation

Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is pushing for changes to education in Alabama that he says will make the system work better.  He says in speaking with school superintendents in the Mobile area, one thing he’s hearing a lot is that the federal government is at times making the jobs of educators' lives harder.

Rep. Byrne: “We’re actually passing legislation through the Congress that will by statute remove from the problems that the higher education are facing with the federal program, removing a lot of the red tape and paperwork for them so that they can more easily do their jobs, more readily access federal money and put it to work in a way that’s meaningful.  We need to do the same thing for K-12 education.”

Byrne is in favor of the Alabama Accountability Act, which allows for scholarships to let kids switch from failing public schools to other public schools or private schools.  That measure has been opposed by Democratic leadership in the state.  He says it goes to the heart of one of the main things Alabama needs to do in terms of improving education.

Byrne: “The number one thing we’re not doing in Alabama that they’re doing in other parts of the country, that are clearly working, is we need more school choice in Alabama.  We need charter schools.  We’re one of the very few states in America that doesn’t have charter schools.  So in places that have academic challenges around the country, what seems to be working are magnet schools, charter schools, schools of choice.”

Byrne serves on the House Education and Workforce Committee.  He won a special election in December to represent Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.   He spoke to me shortly after attending an event honoring National Aviation Day, which we spoke about as well.  You can hear Byrne talking about aviation in Alabama by clicking the audio below.