Alabama State Senator Proposes to Replace Elected State School Board

Photo credit: Jim Bowen (CC-By-2.0)

A bill to be considered in 2018 may be well-intentioned after the debacle with how the Alabama State Board of Education handled Micheal Sentance’s tenure as State Superintendent of Education, but replacing an elected state school board with an appointed “board of counsel” is a colossally bad idea.

That is what Alabama State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) proposes to do next legislative session (I’m not sure of his motivation in writing the bill not that it would affect my opinion of it). Truth in American Education was provided a draft of a bill, SB 25, he sponsored that will be considered in the Alabama Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee.

Here’s what the bill does:

  • Replaces the State Board of Education that consists of the Governor and eight elected members with an appointed 13 member Board of Counsel.
  • The Governor would no longer be an ex-officio member of the board.
  • The Board of Counsel members would be appointed by the appointed Director of Education who is appointed by the Governor and with the advice and consent of the Alabama Senate.
  • The Director of Education would replace the State Superintendent of Education position that was filled by the State Board of Education. This post would be a cabinet position, and the person would serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

If you want to guarantee that the Alabama Department of Education is never responsive to parents and grassroots activists, then this is the route to go. This move would ensure that the state keeps Common Core.

Right now those who oppose Common Core have had few allies on Alabama’s State Board of Education. In fact, Betty Peters who represents District 2, one of the members out of 2-3 who has opposed Common Core, is not running for reelection (her term is up in 2019) (Edited: I originally said that Betty was the only member who consistently opposed Common Core, but I was informed that there are at least two others who also oppose Common Core. I apologize for my error.) Hopefully, a strong Common Core opponent will follow her.

An elected board is closer to the people. This bill, if passed, only helps educrats.