The Mobile County school system is the largest in Alabama with 59,000 students and 7,500 employees.  After a thorough review of the proposed RAISE/PREP legislation earlier this week, this system’s board decided it did not serve the needs of either students and employees and passed a resolution  AGAINST the bill.

A news release by the system states:

“I think this would definitely have a negative effect on teachers and teaching in Alabama,” said board President Don Stringfellow.

The PREP Act is a rewrite of the previously proposed RAISE Act, which was greatly criticized.

Stringfellow said that though the PREP Act reads differently, “in reality it’s not different.”

Critics of the PREP Act – which is heading to the Senate – have said teachers should not be evaluated based on how students perform on a standardized test. Outside factors play a role in student performance, including poverty and family life.

Also, some have said the PREP Act would make it difficult for schools that are considered hard-to-staff or that are under-performing to hire and keep teachers.

The Act, proposed by Sen. President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, would provide a signing bonus to teachers at poor or failing schools. But the state would only providing funding for that bonus in 2017, making the PREP Act an unfunded mandate.

Another unfunded mandate in this bill is the cost of employing and training scores of evaluators.  This is estimated to cost local systems at least $15 million statewide.

Go here to read the compete resolution.