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Last October Alabama voters rejected a referendum for a state education lottery by a vote of 54 to 46 The proposed education lottery was Governor Don Seigalmans solution to a shortfall of 120 million dollars in the state budget The budget shortage was created as a result of the United States Supreme Court in Washington declaring Alabamas franchise tax unconstitutional Without new funding Alabama would be forced to cut funding to its dysfunctional education and prison systems After a crusade by church leaders throughout the state the state education lottery was ultimately defeated The defeat of the state lottery is but the latest example confirming the church stranglehold over the state government of Alabama The state education lottery was a good idea that would have brought badly needed funding to Alabamas beleaguered education system From my vantage point the state lottery was a good solution to a terrible problem I have first-hand experience of just how bad Alabamas public school systems are Underpaid uninterested teachers in trailers without heat taught many of my high school classes In the dead of winter I struggled mostly on keeping warm rather than learning To keep my grades up I was forced to learn on my own what I failed to learn in class My high school experience also left me unprepared for the step up to the college level It is hard for me to imagine how cutbacks have already impacted my former school system The state education lotterys defeat only served to confirm my belief that Alabama had abandoned its future Some counties in Alabama already have their own lottery anyway I am from a small town in south Alabama that borders the state of Georgia Whenever anyone from my hometown wants a lottery ticket they simply drive one mile across the state line and buy it When the lottery referendum was put on last years ballot my county voted overwhelmingly in support of the lottery We
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