Governor Issues Executive Amendment To State Accountability Act

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The state's controversial Accountability Act may undergo revisions yet again, this time at the hand of Governor Robert Bentley.

The law offers tax credits for parents of students in "failing" Alabama public schools, and has faced scrutiny from state Democrats and school leaders since its passage in early March.

Wednesday, Governor Bentley issued an executive amendment, calling for a two-year delay on the implementation of the tax credit and scholarship portions of the bill.

Bentley believes the amendments would allow for greater fiscal responsibility in the state, and give schools designated as "failing" time to improve.

Alabama State Board of Education Representative Mary Scott Hunter says she supported the goal of the state's Accountability Act from the start, but believed the last minute changes to what was supposed to be a flexibility bill needed some work.

"When the accountability came on it wasn`t something that was contemplated or coordinated, and that`s just the reality. Now we have time to see how we`re going to make it fit and work within some strategies to improve our schools," said Hunter.

Hunter agrees the amendment, if passed by the legislature, would allow the state to repay its $423 million debt to the state's Education Rainy Day Fund.

Hunter has already received feedback from school leaders in her district.

"I just heard from a principal in Jackson County and he was very pleased to see there will be a delay. I think educators will receive this well."

Less than a week ago the legislature passed a bill that provided no school would be forced to accept students seeking to leave their failing school.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler saw it as good news for his rapidly growing district.

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