News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Education should be a higher priority in Alabama

To The Daily: Two articles in the Jan. 4 Decatur Daily indicate the failure of leadership in Alabama.

First is the story of The University of Alabama’s recruitment of Nick Saban as football coach. After buying back the remainder of Mike Shula’s contract for several million dollars, The University of Alabama purchased Mr. Saban’s services for $30 million to $40 million on a multi-year contract, making him the highest paid college football coach in this country.

Even if Shula’s contract buy-back and Saban’s $30 million or $40 million are partially paid by the alumni and other groups, this exorbitant amount indicates what the folks who run this public institution of higher learning believe is important. It obviously is not education.

Another article reveals Alabama’s rank near the bottom in a study, “Quality Counts 2007,” which found us 47th in the nation in school test performance in reading, math and graduation rates, and 45th in providing public school children an opportunity to succeed in school.

Although we are attempting to improve our performance in educating our children, our efforts have fallen far short of satisfactory.

Our children and their education are important, and expensive, and we need a new political will and direction. Until we decide to make wealth, both private and corporate, participate in a more economically just system — such as paying its fair share of taxes — so that we can buy the kind of educational system we need, we will remain in the cellar of achievement in just about all categories. This social and economic injustice can only be changed by those who lead us in our state and local governments. If they remain in the pockets of wealthy special interests, the situation can only get worse.

Maybe Mr. Saban will win a national title. I wonder if that will help our children improve their reading.

Wayne Holliday


Judge Water’s decision broke grandparents’ hearts

To The Daily: Judge Shelly Waters broke my and my wife’s hearts by telling us that we do not have the right to love and see our grandchildren any more. I hope she doesn’t have to go through what my wife and I have gone through, but if she does, I would hope she would look back and see what she has done to our lives.

I would like to say it is time for Alabama to give grandparents their rights. If something happens to the child, who steps up to the plate? Grandparents do, because if they love them they will step up. I love my children and grandchildren with all my heart and no one will change that.

I hope Judge Waters had a Happy New Year because she took ours away.

By the way, why did she wait until after the election to make her ruling on this case?

Roger Payne


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