The judge who overturned the Alabama Accountability Act is being asked to put his ruling on hold while state officials appeal.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Gene Reese ruled Wednesday that the law is unconstitutional. Attorneys representing state officials and two families that use the law filed a request Thursday for the judge to stay his ruling while they appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. They say the ruling will cause irreparable injury if it is not put on hold.
A Montgomery judge has struck down Alabama's tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.
Circuit Judge Gene Reese ruled Wednesday that the Alabama Accountability Act is unconstitutional. He said it violates the state Constitution's requirement for the Legislature to have only one subject in a bill.
The Legislature passed the law in 2013. It was challenged in court by members of the state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association.
A bitter war is erupting for control of the Alabama Statehouse and this time it is Republican versus Republican.
Republicans won a majority in the Alabama Legislature in 2010, but in 2014 many incumbents are facing primary party challenges.
Republican Senate leader Del Marsh called many of the challengers RINOs, or Republicans in name only. He said many were funded by the Alabama Education Association, which has often been at odds with current legislators.
Alabama school systems will have to stop collecting dues for the state's largest teachers' group under a new court order.
Shelby County Circuit Judge Bill Bostick approved an agreement Thursday that means systems can't collect money for the Alabama Education Association after June 30 without special certification.
The order came in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by a Hoover woman who claimed officials were moving too slowly to implement a Republican-backed law that forbids payroll deduction to political groups.
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.
The state teachers' organization is fighting private school tax credits in court and the architect of the tax credits at the ballot box.
The Alabama Education Association's political action committee filed a campaign finance report showing the largest donation it gave in March was $50,000 to Democratic state Senate candidate Taylor Stewart of Anniston. Stewart is opposing Republican Sen. Del Marsh of Anniston, who was the chief architect of the Alabama Accountability Act.
The state teachers' organization, a mining company and an Indian tribe that operates casinos are among the top campaign contributions in Alabama for next year's elections.
Campaign finance records show the Alabama Education Association has donated $770,000 to candidates since June. AEA Executive Secretary Henry Mabry said the group is donating to Democrats and Republicans who support public education.
The Birmingham-based Drummond Co. has donated $489,000. That included $25,000 donations to both Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange.
The Alabama Supreme Court has changed some of the wording its recent ruling tossing out a lawsuit against the Alabama Accountability Act, but it didn't change the result.
On Sept. 20, the state's highest court blocked a lawsuit that members of the Alabama Education Association filed against four legislators to challenge the new law. Even though the legislators won, they asked the court to reconsider part of the ruling that said the Accountability Act appropriated public funds.
Statewide elections are still more than a year away, but candidates are busy raising money.
The Anniston Star reported Sunday that state finance records show more than $11 million has been raised since June — when candidates first became eligible to receive contributions for their 2014 campaigns.
The newspaper says Republican candidates have picked up $6.8 million of that cash, while Democrats garnered only $861,000. Political action committees pulled in $6.3 million over the same time period.
A three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold 15 hearings in Montgomery next week, the latest in the court's practice of holding hearings across the southeast.
At least four of the hearings to be held Tuesday through Friday involve Alabama cases.
One of the hearings set for Wednesday is regarding an issue that is part of a lawsuit challenging a state law that prohibits the Alabama Education Association and the Alabama State Employees Association from using automatic payroll deduction to collect dues from workers.
The Alabama Education Association was once the unquestioned power in the Alabama statehouse. But that's changed since Republicans won a supermajority in the House and Senate in 2010.
Lawmakers around the country have made significant changes to teacher tenure, expanded charter schools and introduced different versions of voucher programs. But in Alabama, these kinds of changes have been part of a political upheaval not seen in most states.