Alabama governor names public school-hating Christian fundamentalist to oversee public education
Alabama’s governor has appointed a Christian conservative to the state’s Board of Education despite never having any involvement in a public school in his life.
Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, named 28-year-old Matthew Brown, a design engineer at the Baldwin County Highway Department, to the agency that oversees the state’s public education system, reported the Friendly Atheist blog.
Brown has never attended a public school and has vowed that his own children would not, either, according to a blog post by education activist Larry Lee.
The new school board member graduated in 2007 from Pensacola Christian College and graduated in 2011 from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
Brown worked earlier this year to defeat a school tax vote in his county — and the governor promised he would bring a “unique perspective” to the Board of Education.
Lee said the governor was aware that many experts objected to Brown as a candidate but he ignored those concerns.
As for Bentley, he was appointed this week as vice chair of the National Governors Association’s education and workforce committee by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.
Bentley two years ago signed a law that diverts up to $30 million a year Education Trust Fund to “opportunity scholarships” — which are more commonly known as vouchers.
The governor also signed legislation to allow charter schools in Alabama, and the law also gives a state commission the power to overrule local school districts when they reject a charter application.