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Coalition Forms to Protect Education Budget, Farmers Federation in Montgomery

Robert Witt
Dr. Robert Witt

The University of Alabama Systems' chancellor is spearheading a coalition from kindergarten to four-year institution leaders to advocate the state's education system.

The Alabama Unites for Education coalition launched last week to protect the state's education budget. The Tuscaloosa News reports the group includes the leadership of the University of Alabama System, the Alabama Community College System, and the Alabama Department of Education as well as the presidents of UA’s three campuses and Auburn University.

University of Alabama System Chancellor Robert Witt says he sees the coalition as a long-term advocate for education in the state capable of addressing issues ranging from workforce development to funding for school nurses in the K-12 system.

Coalition members expect the state legislature to once again consider diverting money from the education fund to the ailing general fund for the upcoming fiscal year. They say any more cuts to the education budget would have a drastic impact on the state's k-12 and higher education systems.

Farmers from all over Alabama are meeting in Montgomery today.

The state capital is hosting the 94th annual gathering of the Alabama Farmers Federation. The group meets every year to elect leaders, recognize volunteers, and discuss agricultural issues. This year, over 1200 farmers will be in attendance.

Mary Johnson is the director of news services for the federation. She says awards will be given out to both members and volunteers who play a major role in agriculture.

“The meeting is mostly to recognize the outstanding county federations and what they’ve done throughout the year. The outstanding individual members, what they’ve done throughout their entire time as federation members. And then we also picked a few people who are exemplary in other things. “

This year, Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey is receiving the Federation’s Service of Agriculture Award. It’s the highest honor the organization hands out.

#2 Alabama will face #3 Michigan State in the College Football Playoff after the Crimson Tide won its 25th Southeastern Conference Championship. APR’s MacKenzie Bates was at the Georgia Dome and files this report.

The confetti and ribbons fall on to the field after Alabama defeated Florida 29-15 this past Saturday. Junior running back Derrick Henry carried the ball 44 times for 189 yards and a touchdown.

Henry became the SEC single season rushing leader in the win. He now has 1,986 yards this season, passing Georgia legend Herschel Walker’s record of 1,891 set back in 1981.

Henry is just happy to contribute to another championship for the Crimson Tide…

"My main focus is on finishing and helping this team win. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help this team win, whether it's me running the ball, catching the ball, pass-blocking… It’s a team effort so all of the success I’ve had credit to my teammates and coaches and God because I couldn’t do it without them."

Alabama is now 12-1 on the season. They move on to face Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas at 7 p.m. on December 31st. For APR News, I’m MacKenzie Bates at the SEC Championship in Atlanta.

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