Obama to visit Birmingham, Charter Schools bill passed, Aerofest

Mar 20, 2015

President Barack Obama will travel to Alabama next week to give a speech about the economy. It's his second visit to the state this month.

Obama will be in Birmingham on Thursday afternoon. The White House hasn't released any other details about the trip.

Earlier in March, Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." Obama led a symbolic march across the bridge where throngs who protested their lack of voting rights were beaten by police.

Obama has visited 48 of the 50 states since becoming president. Still awaiting presidential visits are South Dakota and Utah.

A bill to establish charter schools was signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley.

Establishing charter schools in Alabama was touted as a main priority for Republican lawmakers this session.

The measure passed the Senate without much issue but saw opposition in the House, with several hours of debate. An amended version satisfying opponents finally managed to pass.

Anita Gibson is the president of the Alabama Education Association. She says one of those amendments was a big win for state teachers.

“We actually were able to get an amendment that will state that the salary matrix for teachers in those schools will be in place, as well as health insurance and retirement benefits.”

The law will allow for ten new charter schools to be established in Alabama each year, and gives local school boards the freedom to convert an unlimited number of schools to charter status.

A brand new festival gets underway today in Mobile honoring veterans. The first annual Aerofest will be combining several events into one major festival. The Arts Alive event and L-A Gumbo Festival will be joining Aerofest along with music and televised mixed martial arts bouts.

Dave Glassman is a retired Lieutenant Colonial in the U.S. Marines and President of Aerofest. He says along with all of the festivities there will be some opportunities to help veterans.

“An expo that will have an education and career fair as well as invitation to many of the state of the art technology companies from across the country coming in and demonstrating adapted sporting equipment and mobility devices that they are bringing and offering really exceptional opportunities to our veterans.”

Glassman says they are expecting around thirty thousand people to attend the non-profit festival. The gates open at eleven both today and tomorrow, two day tickets will be required to get in on Saturday. 

Credit www.dualshockers.com