Let’s go back to the survey we did in early January that got more than 600 responses and take a closer look.
One thing that jumps out is how the public regards the state board of education and their lack of activity when it comes to the accountability act.
We asked: The Code of Alabama says the state board of education “shall seek in every way to direct and develop public sentiment in support of public education.” With this being the case, do you believe this board should take a public stance regarding the diversion of $100 million from the Education Trust Fund?
We were referring to Alabama Code Section 16-3-11 which is just below.
“The State Board of Education shall exercise, through the State Superintendent of Education and his professional assistants, general control and supervision over the public schools of the state, except institutions of higher learning which by law are under the general supervision and control of a board of trustees, and shall consult with and advise through its executive officer and his professional assistants, county boards of education, city and town boards of education, superintendents of schools, school trustees, attendance officers, principals, teachers, supervisors and interested citizens, and shall seek in every way to direct and develop public sentiment in support of public education.”
Some 87 percent said the board should take a position. Only eight percent said “no.” That is definitely a call for action.
We asked: The Code of Alabama also says the state board of education shall recommend to the Governor and Legislature desired changes to existing laws. Given this authority, should the state board of education be actively involved in making necessary changes to AAA?
This comes from Code Section 16-3-22.
“The State Board of Education shall consider the educational needs of the state and on and with the advice of the State Superintendent of Education shall recommend to the Governor and to the Legislature such additional legislation or changes in the existing legislation as may be deemed desirable. Such recommendations may be in the form of prepared bills and shall be laid before the Governor and the Legislature.”
Again the message was loud and clear as 90 percent said “yes” and only five percent said “No.”
Already 13 schools systems, including the four largest in Alabama, and with 24 percent of all students in public schools, have taken a public stand in calling for repeal of the accountability act.
Why hasn’t the state board said anything? Why do they ignore the law that governs them? Is this really what our 722,000 public school students deserve?