Debate over formation of city school boards dominates Senate committee meeting

February 16, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

One committee meeting in the statehouse on Wednesday was met with debates over the qualifications to start a school board by city governments.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, would raise the requirements for the formation of school boards by increasing the population requirement from 5,000 to 25,000.

It would also require the Alabama State Department of Education to determine if the city has a tax base to support the school system. Coleman-Madison, speaking at Wednesday’s Senate committee on Education and Youth Affairs meeting, said the bill was a cost saving measure.

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State Board of Education races are set

February 12, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Half of the elected seats on the Alabama State School Board are up for re-election this year.  Qualifying for those seats ended on Friday.

In state Board of Education District 2 Melanie Hill, Sybil Little, John Taylor, and Tracie West are all running in the Republican Primary.  Incumbent Betty Peters is not seeking another term

Adam Jortner is running for the place 2 seat as a Democrat.

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Republican State Rep. Mack Butler qualifies for State Senate

February 1, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

 State Representative Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, on Friday qualified to run in the Republican primary for District 10 of the Alabama State Senate. Incumbent Senator Phil Williams is not seeking another term.

“Our community has been blessed for the past seven years to have conservative leadership in the Alabama Senate,” Rep. Butler said. “Because I’ve been encouraged by so many people and there’s so much work to do in Montgomery, I have decided to enter this race to give the people of Etowah, Cherokee and DeKalb counties the small government, pro-liberty representation in Montgomery that they want.”

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Perspective | The Top Ten Issues Facing the Legislature

December 29, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The 2018 Alabama Regular Legislative Session begins in just 11 days on Jan. 9, 2018, and this is an election year so formal major party qualifying begins on the same day.  The elections mean that the session begins earlier than normal and will likely end even sooner so that incumbents can get back to their districts to campaign.  There are a lot of issues facing the legislature, however.

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BOE member Mary Scott Hunter running for state Senate

September 25, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter announced that she will be run in the open seat election for Alabama Senate District 7.

“The people of my district know me as a fighter, as a wife, a mom of three children who attend public school, and a woman of faith,” Hunter said. “They have seen me tested and know the quality of my character. I love this state, and I love the place I call home, Madison County, Alabama. I’ve decided to enter the race for Senate District 7 because it’s where I can best serve the people.”
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Analysis: Montgomery intervention failing despite local support

September 17, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There is a misconception with the state takeover of Montgomery Public Schools.

Everyone seems to think that MPS officials don’t want it.

That’s untrue.

Board members made it clear this week that even those who are currently actively engaged in an ongoing AEA lawsuit against the intervention are open to it continuing after the resignation last week of Michael Sentance.

And that fact, probably more than any other, is a perfect example of the complicated chore an intervention – especially one in a large district – is, and how poorly Sentance managed the one in Montgomery.
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AEA sues State Department of Education over MPS takeover

September 14, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Education Association has formally waded into the fight between the Alabama State Department of Education and the Montgomery County School Board over the intervention in Montgomery’s school system.

A lawsuit filed in Montgomery Circuit Court, naming now-former state superintendent Michael Sentance and Montgomery Schools chief, Reginald Eggleston, claims the state has failed to uphold its agreements for a collaborative intervention and that it has repeatedly violated state law.

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State Superintendent Michael Sentance Resigns

September 13, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

When the Alabama School Board chose Massachusetts Attorney Michael Sentance to be the Superintendent of Alabama’s school systems it was a controversial choice. That controversy only deepened when it was later learned that a certain member of the school board may have misled the public and the rest of the board about an ethics investigation into fellow candidate, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Craig Pouncey. The controversy around Sentance’s hiring, the controversial of Montgomery Schools, and a series of lapses in judgement and protocol finally led Sentance to resign today, Sept. 13, 2017.
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Rep. Mac Butler running for State Senate

September 4, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, State Representative Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination to District 10 of the Alabama State Senate.

Rep. Butler said in a statement, “Our community has been blessed for the past seven years to have conservative leadership in the Alabama Senate, because I’ve been encouraged by so many people and there’s so much work to do in Montgomery, I have decided to enter this race to give the people of Etowah, Cherokee and DeKalb counties the small government, pro-liberty representation in Montgomery that they want.”

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State Department ignores State School Board directive

July 17, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

As the Montgomery County school “intervention” has tediously unfolded with little to see but mounting expenses for high-priced consultants and well-paid administrators, the State School Board finally threw up its hands on June 8, 2017, and said “Enough is enough.”

So they passed a resolution saying all spending for Montgomery should stop until Mike Sentance and his folks came up with some budget numbers. As we explained here, this is when Sentance tried to stop Montgomery from hiring teachers and blaming it all on the state school board. When certain State Board members learned what Sentance was doing they quickly scrambled to bring some clarity to the situation so that Montgomery could hire teachers.
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