Several groups that are against charter schools urged the Birmingham Board of Education to pass a resolution opposing legislation that would allow the independent schools to operate in Alabama.
Representatives from the Birmingham chapter of the NAACP, the Alabama Education Association, the Alabama Federation of Teachers and a newly formed group called Sound Options for Academic Reform asked the board to pass a resolution opposing charter schools.
The board did not act and does not have a resolution on the issue drawn up to consider, but members Virginia Volker and Tyrone Belcher spoke out against charter schools, saying they will take funding from Birmingham city schools.
"Why does the over-the-mountain crew all of a sudden care about our inner-city schoolchildren?" Richard Franklin, president of Birmingham AFT, told the board, talking about Republican legislators and education reformers who are pushing the legislation. "If AEA, AFT, NAACP and pastors all agree this is wrong, this is wrong."