According to article that came out two days ago,
Alabama ranks in the bottom 10 states in education, health care, infrastructure, poverty, infant mortality, life expectancy, upward mobility and corrections. …. that’s basically everything.
According to Forbes, more than 800,000 Alabamians, including 256,000 children, live below the poverty line in the State of Alabama. It is also the 5th most impoverished State in the United States, and percentage-wise, 16% of Alabamians live below the poverty lines. Going by the figures, Alabama is a hellhole, but there is one interesting finding. Still, before we get to that, it is noteworthy to mention that Alabama’s median household income is $49,881, which is $12,056 less than the national median of $61,937. However, it is the black folks and the Latinos that are affected the most. 28% Alabamian African Americans and 32% of Latinos live in poverty than whites at 12.2%. Alabama’s poverty boggles the mind. The State’s poverty even shocked the United Nations when Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said, “I think it’s very uncommon in the first world. This is not a sight that one normally sees.”
Poverty is not Alabama’s only problem . Alabama also has an education problem. The State was ranked worst, making it to number 50, the last spot in the year 2019 though 2021 has seen an improvement where Alabama was ranked 47 out of 50 states. That is hardly a position to cheer about. I can understand that poverty and low education go hand in hand, but that could easily be rectified had decision-makers made an effort.
Poor States do not provide attractive prospects for good teachers, and when you couple poor job prospects with a leadership problem, then what you have is no longer a problem but a system put in place to keep the vicious cycle of poverty. Perhaps this is why Alabama’s senator Del Marsh wanted to get rid of the Common Core, which came about as a total surprise.
He posted on his Facebook a clip where he announces a bill to repeal common core in Alabama. The senator says, “our kids deserve better.” The senator is entirely justified to take that stand; Alabama’s children deserve more because a decade before the common core was introduced, Alabama’s education compared to other States was somewhat in the middle. It should not have taken Alabama’s elected officials a decade to figure out that the State’s education ranking went from fair to worse.
Alabama’s other problem from the outlook does not look like a problem at all. After all, Governor Kay has been very vocal about putting Alabamians back to work. His slogan was “put Alabama back to work.” The great irony is that Alabama has a record low unemployment as far as employment is concerned. Yet, the State’s main problem or the elephant in the room, poverty, is still haunting Alabamians record high.
At least one in every five Alabamians are holding a job but what Alabama’s leadership fails to understand is that they have failed their children where most are taught low-paid skills. It’s Alabama’s terrible education system in place that is hurting their economy and keeping them in perpetual poverty.
Alabama’s elected leaders ought to fund and improve their education and heavily invest in it than on the companies they are willing to spend billions of dollars which will go somewhere else as soon as their contract is finished. It’s Alabama’s children that can ultimately save Alabama. Still, that future looks bleak at the moment because they have been let down as they have not been prepared to take Alabama’s economic problems head-on. Instead, they are stuck in a perpetual rat race that seems to have no end in sight.
Kristina stock, the former executive director of Alabama possibly eloquently summed up Alabama’s woes when she said,
“Living in poverty is like running in place. Too many Alabamians are working hard just to make ends meet. Stagnant social mobility, increasing inequality, and the rise of low-wage jobs without benefits impact both low-income and middle-class Alabamians.”