Add Geneva and Butler counties and Andalusia city to the growing list of school systems calling for the legislature to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act.
They join: Baldwin, Blbb, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Marion, Mobile, Montgomery, Randolph and Tallapoosa counties, plus Leeds, Russellville and Winfield city systems.)
Interestingly enough, before passing the resolution, the Butler County board had a discussion about the need to make some substantial changes to their budget to adhere to state guidelines. Their pro-rated share of the $145 million AAA has diverted from the Education Trust Fund is $577,000. A board member pointed out that they could balance their budget with this amount of money.
According to information from the state department of education, there are 722,212 students in our public schools. These 16 systems represent 181,239 of them, which is 25 percent. Of all students in these systems, 42.4 percent are black and 52.4 percent are on free-reduced lunches.
Statewide, schools are 32.4 percent black and 41.6 percent free-reduced. The stated purpose of the accountability act when it was created in 2013 was to help “poor kids stuck in failing schools by their zip code.”
So why are the very school systems that AAA was supposed to help the ones calling for it’s repeal?
It’s just one more case where RHETORIC does not match REALITY.
Editor’s note: I attended the board meetings in Andalusia and in Butler County. I was in my element as my parents are from Covington County (Andalusia is county seat) and I spent four years running the Covington County Economic Development Commission years ago. Have know superintendent Ted Watson and several board members for many years.
The Butler County meeting was at the high school in Georgiana. Superintendent John Strycker asked me to comment on the accountability act. Before I did I told the crowd of 75-100 people that my Uncle Earl Bennett ran a grocery store just down the road in McKenzie, Also mentioned that one of my great, great, great grandfathers, William Greenberry Lee, is burne4d at South Butler cemetery in McKenzie.
Afterwards a young lady approached to tell me that she was also kin to Uncle Earl (he was her grandpa’s brother) and someone else told me he on the trustee board for the South Butler cemetery. And ran into Richie Hartley, son of Marion and Richard Hartley of Greenville, friends of many years.
Yep, I was in my element. Among people who are salt of the earth–and too often forgotten my politicians and bureaucrats in Montgomery.