Huntsville-Madison County Chamber stands in favor of a state-appointed school board


Huntsville-Madison County Chamber

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber announced Thursday that they are supporting the amendment voters will decide on next week. You can choose to keep an elected state school board system in place or allow the governor to appoint members themself.

This is what you need to know in a snapshot

WHNT News 19 previously reported - A proposed constitutional amendment will ask voters to change who's leading education at the state level. The proposal would amend the 1901 Constitution of Alabama.

A "yes" vote means the governor would appoint a 9-member commission. Alabama has 8 elected board members. A "no" - means voters get to choose.

Alabama is one of 7 states where, along with Washington D.C., voters vote in all members of the state school board. The National Association of State Boards of Education says those states are Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas and Utah.

"I would encourage voters to think about this," said Huntsville-Madison County Chamber CEO Chip Cherry. "Our current system - we elect people who serve a four-year term on the state board of education who are driving policy. In that period of the four years, there is no additional accountability for those men and women who are appointed."

He added, "if these men and women are not operating in the best interest of the state, not advancing our education, then the governor can remove those individuals from that board and not have to wait four years. "

For the chamber, it's about the students

The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber said it's supporting a state-appointed school board.

Cherry said the state's education ratings are not aligned with the growth seen in North Alabama's workforce. And because of that, he wants to see a change within the Alabama State Department of Education.

"At the end of the day - what is the core issue at play here? And the core issue at play here is how do we make things better for the young people in the state so that they have a good start when they come out of school when they enter the workforce and maximize their potential overtime?" said Cherry.

Alabama ranks low in education

The U.S. News and World Report measured how well states are educating its students and how well states are preparing students for college.

Alabama ranked nearly at the bottom of both lists.

Voters will cast their ballots on March 3, 2020 - Super Tuesday - That's the same day as the presidential and U.S. Senate primaries. 

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