Change to state school board on ballot for Alabama primary

Alabama News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabamians heading to the polls next Tuesday may notice one ballot item that could change the way members on the Alabama State Board of Education are selected.

Amendment One would change the Alabama Constitution to make the board one appointed by the governor as opposed to an elected position.

“What we’re actually asking the people to do is put their responsibility in us. right now the people make that choice and in that group determines school policy,” Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said during a recent interview on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal.”

Here is what the amendment would do if it passes:

  • Change the board to the “Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education.”
  • Commission members would be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
  • Change “State Superintendent of Education” to the “Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education.” The secretary would be appointed by the commission and approved by the state Senate. 
  • Require the adoption of different education standards instead of “Common Core.”

Becky Gerritson, executive director of Eagle Forum of Alabama, opposes the amendment and is encouraging people to vote against it. Two of Eagle Forum of Alabama’s concerns are not being able to vote on state school board member and Common Core standards not being removed.

“The regular Joes that I see out on the streets, people that I go to church with people, my neighbors that asked me about this, they all want to vote no, they don’t think it’s right to take away the right to vote,” Gerritson said.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Vermont, South Dakota, and Iowa are a few of the states that have appointed school boards.

The primary will be held March 3.

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