Ben Stanfield: Tommy Bice should hang his head in shame


Published 08/22 2014 10:17AM

Updated 08/22 2014 10:29AM

Tommy Bice should hang his head in shame. Alabama’s superintendent of education just accepted a 26 percent pay raise that gives him a salary of about $250,000 annually.

Most members of the State Board of Education should hang their heads in shame. They approved the exorbitant increase.

Governor Bentley should hang his head in shame. He appears to be a conspirator in one of the biggest rip-offs in modern Alabama history.

Dr. Bice is the epitome of what gives our government leaders a bad name. Talking about hard times and sacrifices but not practicing he preaches. Dining at high price restaurants while the teachers whose interest he supposedly represents struggle to pay at the grocery checkout.

Teachers often have to fund classroom supplies from their own pockets. Teachers don’t have sufficient support staff because there supposedly is not enough money to pay them. Teachers work all day at school only to go home to grade papers and prepare assignments while trying to balance their jobs with family.

They have to figure out how to make the house payment because, unlike you Mr. Bice, they don’t receive a lucrative housing allowance that approaches $2,000 per month.

After the state board approved his pay hike on a 6-2 vote earlier this month Bice said he didn’t know if he would accept the increase. Yeah, right!

Governor Bentley said Mr. Bice deserved the extra money. In fact, he appears to be the catalyst behind it.

Kudos to board members Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters, the latter from Dothan, who voted against the increase. At least somebody in Montgomery still has some marbles in their heads.

Mr. Bice, go ahead and enjoy your quarter of a million annual salary. Eat at overpriced restaurants, stay in plush hotels, and live the high life. You got your big fat pay increase while teachers were given no raises.

Hang your head in shame Tommy Bice because, while you may have gained a bigger paycheck, you have lost our respect.

Ben Stanfield is an anchor at WDHN. His wife is an Alabama school teacher.

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