The bill to switch from an elected to an appointed state school board that passed the Senate 30-0, has now cleared another hurdle on its way to passage.
The House Education Policy Committee passed the bill with only one nay vote (from Rep. Bob Fincher of Randolph County). The bill is sponsored by Senate president pro tem Del Marsh with support from Governor Kay Ivey. Rep Bill Poole, chair of the House Education Ways & Means committee, handled the bill when it came to the house committee. This was significant as Poole is one of the most-respected members of the House.
It is also noteworthy that the motion to pass the bill was made by House Minority Leader Democrat Anthony Daniels and seconded by Democrat Barbara Drummond. Rarely does legislation have such bi-partisan support in this age of the Republican supermajority.
Next stop. will be a vote by the entire House. There is no reason to think it will hit a stumbling block there.
Since it is a constitutional amendment, this measure will go before voters during the March 2020 presidential primary. What happens then? Your guess is as good as mine. Some feel there will a lot of pushback from those who claim they do not want to lose their vote.
However, since this is Del Marsh’s bill, I think it is a safe bet that he will marshal forces to get it passed. So don’t be surprised when money from out-of-sate major donors shows up in Alabama. We’ve seen such happen previously when the Alabama Federation for Children has stuffed their stocking with money from donors in Texas, Arkansas, Michigan and California.
But at this point one thing is certain, the legislature is not happy at all with the elected state board and superintendent Eric Mackey.