Eddie Britton on the Issues
I became a teacher because I believe deeply in helping others. My mother and father were great role models and I felt called from a very early age to be a math teacher. As I learned more about the needs of students, I sensed that I could make a stronger impact by becoming a principal. Now, with 38 years of working in schools under my belt, I believe more firmly than ever that our children’s education must be priority #1. It’s essential that our schools offer an excellent, state of the art education for all students.
First and foremost, we must guarantee our student’s safety. Safety is a complex topic and there’s not a single solution for every school system in every state. I’d start by putting metal detectors at the main entrances of all school campuses.
We must fund our schools - educators must be given the tools they need to support student learning. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year. That’s not an acceptable way to fund our schools.
Teachers must be empowered to teach without so many bureaucratic restraints. We need to spend less time and money on tests and more time and money on supporting teachers and students.
Modern technology has created educational opportunities. Let’s take advantage of them and consider making investments that would pay off over the long term. For instance, let’s invest in kindles, etc. instead of literature books for high school students that will soon be tattered and obsolete. We can save money and improve quality if we take a longer view in our spending decisions.
If we’re going to compete with neighboring states to recruit high quality teachers, we need to be give our teachers and state employees a decent raise.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama must be protected from those who seek to raid its funds for their own political desires and our retirees must be given a COL adjustment.
The high cost of healthcare and health insurance is out of control. My own daughter and her husband agonize about paying their bills and providing for their family - my grandkids - in large part because of the high price of healthcare. So, they often make choices about whether to pay ‘Peter or Paul,’ stuck in a cycle of stress.
Our young families are struggling to make ends meet. They cannot afford the family insurance they need if their employer does not offer a health insurance plan. Our older generation, sometimes referred to as “The Greatest Generation,” is at risk – worried about whether they can afford life or death medication and care. Their last years should be filled with happiness and security, not stress. Equally as important, we need give our youngest generation the best opportunity to have a long, healthy life filled with hope.
We must ensure that all Americans have access to less expensive insurance and can see the doctor of their choice, regardless of their income or whether they have pre-existing conditions.
We need a strong system of rural hospitals. As your representative, I’ll fight to expand Medicaid to shore up rural hospitals, and making sure that healthcare providers can continue to practice medicine right here in our community.
We need to invest in preventive care, which will both lower costs over the longer term and improve the health of Alabamians.
Economy & Workforce Development
As we know all too well, if our community is going to prosper, we need high quality jobs right here in northwest Alabama, from Phil Campbell to Waterloo.
As your representative, I’ll work tirelessly to bring jobs that pay good living wages to northwest Alabama. With good jobs - ones that offer competitive benefits - to keep young families here in our community and grow our economy.
We need to create more opportunities for young people to participate in high quality training programs, right here in our high schools and community colleges. These programs will make our high school graduates ready for the job market, and make Alabama attractive for businesses to make investments here.
I’ll support creating initiatives, such as scholarships and deferred tuition, that support people pursuing careers in service, such as education and healthcare, to keep our our service-minded citizens in Alabama.