By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, June 9, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) recently signed House Bill 89, which requires that the Alabama Department of Education develop and implement an electronic notification system to facilitate the sharing of school emergency-related information between local schools, local school systems, the Department of Education, and the Governor’s office.
Gov. Ivey said, “As a former school teacher, I know the importance of keeping everyone informed of what is going on in our schools. This notification system is a much needed source of information to clarify the sometimes murky communications in times of emergency.”
HB89 was sponsored by State Representative Alan Baker (R-Brewton).
Governor Ivey said. “I appreciate Representative Alan Baker for his hard work and leadership sponsoring this Legislation.”
Representative Baker said, “As students are engaged in the educational process, whether attending school or in transport by bus, their safety is of utmost importance. I applaud Governor Ivey for her strong support of education with an emphasis on school safety.”
The bill requires the Alabama Department of Education to implement the electronic notification system by October 1, 2017.
HB89 saw overwhelming support in both houses and passing unanimously in the Alabama Senate.
According to the Governor’s office, the intent of the bill is that all local schools and local school systems use the electronic notification system as a means to input specific information relating to school delays, early releases, shelter-in-place information, and other emergency-related information to improve communications on all levels.
During the House debate Baker said that HB89 was a recommendation of the School Safety Task Force, which is chaired by State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur).
Baker said that HB89, “Would add extra strength in regards to participation by the individual schools to participate in the notification system.” During the ice storm of 2015 it was very difficult for State officials to get a count on the number of children trapped in their schools and where they were because there was no notification system in place. HB89 would strengthen and encourage local school systems to participate in the electronic notification system.
Rep. Collins said that school safety task force is one of the most hard working task forces I have ever been a part of. HB89 would maker sure that all of our agencies are all working together.
HB89 is part of the Alabama House Republican Caucus’s “Alabama Proud Legislative Agenda.”
The electronic notification bill passed the House and now it goes to the Alabama Senate.