By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, July 14, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) appointed Matthew Brown (R) to fill the remainder of Al Thompson’s term on the Alabama State Board of Education. Brown represents the First Congressional District on the Board.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “Today I appointed Matthew Brown to the Alabama State Board of Education. He will replace Al Thompson who I appointed to the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees earlier this year.”
Governor Robert Bentley said. “Education is a key component to the success and growth of Alabama, and I am confident Matthew will serve the citizens and students of South Alabama with honesty and integrity. Matthew brings a unique perspective to the position, and will build on the positive momentum Al Thompson created. I appreciate his willingness to serve.”
Brown’s district includes the following Alabama counties: Baldwin, Butler, Covington, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Escambia, and Mobile.
Brown said in a statement on Facebook:
“Today I was honored to receive the following letter from Governor Robert Bentley appointing me to the State Board of Education. I want to thank the Governor for entrusting me with the great responsibility of representing the citizens of the 1st Congressional District on the Board. Education is the great stepping stone which enables young people to achieve success in our society. I look forward to working with families, teachers, local and State school board members, the Legislature, and the Governor to ensure that our children are prepared to compete and be successful in Alabama and around the world. I also want to thank Al Thompson for his dedicated service on the State Board of Education. You have left big shoes to fill, Mr. Thompson.”
The appointment is effective immediately.
Brown is a graduate of the Pensacola Christian College and is a 2011 graduate of the Cumberland Law School. Brown is a member of the Baldwin County Young Republicans and works for the Baldwin County Commission. Brown was the founder and Chairman of the group: “Educate Baldwin Now” which, despite being massively outspent, successfully defeated massive property tax increases advocated by the Baldwin County School Board.
Matthew and his wife, Sarah, have two children.
The School Board has run afoul recently of many powerful State legislators. During the 2015 Regular Legislative Session, the Legislature created a newly, appointed Board to oversee the State’s two year college system, stripping the State School Board of much of its authority. The State School Board has been relegated to overseeing only pre-K thru grade 12 education.
When the State School Board balked at filling positions on the newly creating State Charter Schools Board, an angry Senate President Del Marsh (R-Anniston) threatened to introduce a bill that would replace the Board with a new appointed Board. Eventually, the Board backed down.
The Board itself is divided with some members supporting the State’s controversial Common Core educational standards and others voting to jettison the new educational standards and methodology.