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Alabama Board of Education provokes Legislature

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a move that is considered by many as sabotage the law Alabama Board of Education has recommend that School Boards across the state ignore Flexible Schools Calendar Act of 2012.

In early May, Flexible Schools Calendar Act of 2012 was put into law.

Under the law, school’s are to start August 20 and classes are to end no later than the last Friday before Labor Day.

The bill sponsors aim with the new calendar was to extend the Alabama tourist season and increase tax revenue.

Yet by all appearances Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama’s State Superintendent of Education, has declared war on the prerogative the the Governor and the State Legislature.

What has inflamed lawmakers is that Bice is using his state office, state resources and state time to undermine a state law.

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The Alabama Education Department’s website even has a Powerpoint presentation that encourages the subversion of the law’s intent.

In the Powerpoint presentation Dr. Bice says, “I am recommending that you hold firm to the 180-day school year.”

The presentation list concerns that Bice’s office has over the implementation over the law.

Because of the timing by Bice and the scheduling of the Legislative Special Session lawmakers have not been able to responded to what they clearly perceive as Bice giving instruction to ignore the law.

Some lawmakers have said they are concerned that Dr. Bice does not understand how the three branches of government work. Several legislators suggested that the board of education was expendable.

The Department of Education’s Powerpoint presentation begins with the statement, “It is all about the children” before launching into a banal presentation of the “concerns” the board has over the new law.

State Finance Director Marquita Davis, who is an education professional by training, recently said at a conference on education that people should be wary of those who “pimp out” children to further their agenda.

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At least one of the bill’s sponsors had planned a blistering response to what he sees as Bice’s overreach.

During the House and Senate debate it was stated that two more weeks of summer vacation could mean more tax revenue for the cash-strapped state and that studies shown that up to $300 million could be added to the state’s coffers.

Lawmakers are expected to respond to Bice and the Board of Education as early as Thursday.

Bill Britt
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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