With Paul Hubbert set to retire on Saturday, The Gadsden Times is publishing a multi-part series focusing on the life and career of the long-time AEA chief. The series is entitled, “Hubbert Made His Mark on Alabama.” There’s no doubt about that. Hubbert has relentlessly fought for public school employees in Alabama. Unfortunately, his fights have more often than not come at the expense of Alabama’s school children, taxpayers, and the well-being of the state as a whole.
Alabama’s 2010 legislative session ushered in a new era in Alabama politics. Thankfully, that era will be able to move forward without the perverse influence of Paul Hubbert. He will now ride off into the sunset with a smoldering path of devastation in his wake.
From The Gadsden Times:
MONTGOMERY — Fresh out of high school, Paul Hubbert left Fayette County for Washington, D.C., to be an FBI fingerprint clerk.
He tried night school, but it was inconveniently across town from where he lived. Then reality struck.
“I saw a glass ceiling after two raises, and I thought my best bet was to go home and enroll in college,” Hubbert said in a recent interview.
That was 1955. After marriage, college, graduate school, jobs in Tuscaloosa and as the superintendent of the Troy school system, Hubbert became head of the then-all-white Alabama Education Association.
He and Joe Reed, a young, politically active Alabama State University graduate, in 1969 merged Reed’s all-black Alabama State Teachers Association with the AEA into the modern organization that has been a powerful political force in Alabama politics.
“Both Joe Reed and Paul Hubbert had a significant impact on Alabama politics for years,” said political science professor D’Linell Finley.
Athens State University government and public policy professor Jess Brown said, “Paul Hubbert converted AEA from a largely apolitical body into a group that, for the last generation, operated as the state’s single more power interest group on Goat Hill.”