PACT funds still concern East Alabama parents - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

PACT funds still concern East Alabama parents

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Veterinarian Richard Huckaby thought he had a guarantee in the Alabama PACT program, as he tried to secure a future in higher education for both his son and daughter.

Now, with one of them on their way to college, he is left like thousands of other Alabama parents, not sure if the money will be there when he needs it.

"These things were what we planned for our kids' education, our secure guarantee to get kids into college. It was very important to us...I couldn't imagine if my children, or 48,000 other children, couldn't go to college because of the PACT trust fund," said Dr. Huckaby.

After hearing about the financial problems with the state's prepaid tuition program, the Lanett, Alabama dad started lobbying full time, with the creation of the website, SaveAlabamaPact.com.

"It is a networking mechanism for frustrated parents who have these contracts, and it gives them the ability to get together and push legislators for answers they are looking for," said Dr. Huckaby.

The end of the legislative session didn't provide a permanent solution, but Dr. Huckaby believes the state is moving in the right direction, after commissioning a study by Retirement Systems of Alabama to look into how to secure the future of the PACT.

"48,000 children's faces in Montgomery is a strong incentive. I don't think anyone in the state doesn't believe in the moral obligation to uphold these contracts," said Dr. Huckaby.

Legislators also recommended that the PACT continue to make tuition payments while they look for a long-term solution.

The PACT Board of Directors will be meeting this Wednesday, May 20th at 1pm in Montgomery to make that final decision.

Dr. Huckaby is urging all parents who pay into the PACT fund to be there.

To learn more, you can visit his website, savealabamapact.com

 

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