AEA

An Alabama judge will hear arguments today in a dispute between the state’s teachers and their health insurance provider.

The Alabama Education Association is suing the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Program, or PEEHIP. Coinciding with a raise that Alabama’s lawmakers allocated to teachers earlier this year, the health insurance program announced it was dramatically increasing its premiums. The AEA argues those rate hikes were decided upon in a secret meeting that violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.

Lawyers have picked a jury for House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics trial scheduled to start next week. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

The panel of 12 jurors and four alternates is made up of five black men, four white men, four black women and three white women.

The Montgomery Advertiser and al.com reports that Lee County Judge Jacob Walker instructed the panel not to discuss the high-profile case.

The Alabama Education Association has  a new executive director.

AEA spokeswoman Amy Marlowe says Brenda Pike will start her new position on May 16. Pike serves as the executive director of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Pike received her master's degree from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate of education from the University of Memphis. She worked for 12 years as a classroom teacher before joining the staff of the Tennessee Education Association.

Associated Press

The state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, has become the biggest contributor to Democrat Parker Griffith's campaign for governor.

Griffith filed a campaign finance report late Thursday afternoon showing he had received a $300,000 contribution from AEA. Prior to the contribution, he was reporting $25,050 in his campaign account.

The contribution comes after AEA's political action committee reported borrowing $700,000 from a bank on Sept. 4.

educationnews.org

The Alabama Education Association board of directors met behind closed doors for four hours Friday to discuss concerns raised by its longtime leader.

Former AEA executive secretary Paul Hubbert, in a Tuesday letter to board members, said AEA was in crisis. Hubbert said he was concerned about the association's finances and also the management style of current executive secretary Henry Mabry.

AEA President Anita Gibson said board members had extensive discussions about the issues raised by Hubbert.

Alabama Education Association

The Alabama Education Association board of directors is set to meet Friday night in the wake of a letter from the retired leader of the group, who says the organization is now in.

Hubbert sent a letter this week to the AEA's board, saying the group is in danger of losing its strong membership and financial might that made it a formidable force in Alabama politics.

Hubbert led the AEA for more than 40 years before retiring in 2011 for health reasons.

educationnews.org

The retired leader of the Alabama Education Association says the teachers' organization that he built into a political powerhouse is now in crisis.

Paul Hubbert wrote a letter to the AEA board of directors, saying the organization is in danger of losing its strong membership and financial standing.

Hubbert said AEA has management, financial and organizational problems. Hubbert particularly criticized the organization's dwindling reserve funds and investment in high-risk stocks.

Alabama Education Association

A lawsuit has been filed to block state education officials from allowing payroll deductions from public school employees to fund the Alabama Education Association.

A Hoover woman who filed the suit in Shelby County Circuit Court Wednesday says the AEA hasn't ensured that dues being paid by public school employees won't be used to fund Alabama Voices for Teachers for Education, the AEA's political action committee.

Lloyd Gallman / Montgomery Advertiser

In the last few years the state has had to tighten its belt to rein in spending during some lean budget years. Alabama’s teachers have had to shoulder some of that burden with pay cuts and increased contributions to their pensions. Teachers received a two percent pay raise last year, their first since 2007. More raises were expected this year to help bring teacher pay back to pre-recession levels. Governor Robert Bentley took up the cause during his State of the State address...