Fundamentalist Public School Hater To Oversee Public Education In State Of Alabama

Alabama’s governor, Robert Bentley, decided to sabotage public education in his state by appointing a fundamentalist Christian who hates the public school system to the state Board of Education. The man, Matthew Brown, has zero experience with the public school system, according to The Raw Story, and has also sworn that his children would never attend public school.

The first question is, how can someone like Brown be trusted to the best decisions possible for the public education system? He likely can’t. This is an especially frightening possibility, given that he also worked to defeat a school tax vote in his own county. This is a man who does not want to see the public schools succeed in any way, shape or form.

We also have to wonder if Brown, being a fundamentalist Christian, will also try to introduce Christian teachings into the public school system. Despite being illegal, there are state and local education officials who have tried to do this, in both overt and subtle ways. Brown would likely support such moves, and fight tooth and nail against courts that would try to undo them.

It’s no secret that Republicans have been working to destroy the public school system to justify their need to privatize it, or eliminate it altogether in their quest for no taxes and tiny government. Nothing works when you starve it of funding, but when you do that, you can then come up with all sorts of reasons for why the systems are failing. You can also toss in a good, “Throwing money at the problem won’t solve it,” for effect, and the people, not knowing any better, will lap it up, especially if they’re of the opinion that private enterprise always works better than government (guess what? That’s not always true).

Bentley, for his part, had this to say about Brown’s appointment to the Board of Education:

“I am honored to appoint Matthew Brown to the State Board of Education. Education is a key component to the success and growth of Alabama, and I am confident Matthew will serve the citizens and students of South Alabama with honesty and integrity. Matthew brings a unique perspective to the position, and will build on the positive momentum Al Thompson created. I appreciate his willingness to serve.”

According to the Washington Post, Bentley isn’t exactly the public school system’s best friend, either. He strongly supports vouchers and charter schools, and he’s funneled as much as $30 million away from the public school system and into the voucher system. So it’s a pretty safe bet that he appointed Brown to further degrade the system.

Forget the children that must attend public schools, and what the slow destruction of the system will wreak on the U.S. There’s no rational, logical reason not to support public schools, because an educated population is what makes a country great. Republicans, however, despise education and dismiss the educated as “elitists,” and would rather kowtow to the rich that see dollar signs in the destruction of the schools.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the months to come, with someone like Brown making decisions affecting a system that likely teaches things in which he doesn’t believe, and also of which he’s never been a part.

Featured image via Alabama Dept. of Education Twitter account