Madison City Schools will study Alabama Accountability ActPublished 3:00pm Friday, March 1, 2013
By Aldo Amato
MADISON — The Alabama State Senate surprised many Feb. 28 by passing the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 and Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said that his office is still in the process of looking off the legislation.
The Alabama Accountability Act would allow parents of children whose local public school is failing to get a tax credit if they enroll in a private school or non-failing public school.
“We’re collecting information and meeting with our legal team to devise a policy,” Fowler said in a press release Friday afternoon. “While there is no school in Madison that would meet the ‘failing school’ criteria in the bill, he said Madison could be a recipient of transfers from other systems.”
Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to sign the bill next week.
“The historic education reform will benefit students and families from across the state,” Bentley said in a press release Thursday evening. “Local school systems will have the flexibility to make decisions on behalf of their students. Families will have new options if their children are stuck at failing schools.”
Fowler said the school district’s policy committee will convene next week to consider formulation of an interim policy regarding out-of- zone attendance. The policy committee is comprised of two Madison Board of Education members, teachers and administrative staff.
Former Madison Board of Education member Sue Helms said that she is in-between when it comes to the bill.
“It is a good bill and there are some good thing in it,” Helms said. “It is good for local school boards. However there are a couple of issues in it.”
Helms said that the voucher bill will have to be looked at carefully.
“The problem with the voucher bill is that there are caveats on that for people are in failing schools,” she said. “If you go to one of those schools,, you as a parent can take that child out. You know my personal opinion is that this bill will not effect the neediest. “