By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Montgomery’s School Board is considering legal action over the Alabama State Department of Education’s intervention, a County School Board member said Monday evening.
MPS Board member Mary Briers, a fixture in Montgomery education, brought up the possible lawsuit during a phone conversation and said it was “likely.” However, she also said the board was waiting to see if any changes to the intervention would be coming.
“We’re waiting to see how they’re going to do,” Briers said. “But that (lawsuit) is an option.”
Briers phone call to APR was an angry one, and was intended to relay her displeasure with another media outlet’s report that a superintendent had been named to replace the retiring Margaret Allen. Allen announced on Monday that she was stepping down at the end of July.
“We have a Superintendent until July 31,” Briers said. “We don’t need another one. If we need to name a person after then to fill in, we can.”
Briers said that during a conference between MPS Board members and State Superintendent Michael Sentance on Monday, the topic of a replacement for Allen was broached and that Dr. Reginald Eggleston was recommended for the position. A short time later, ALSDE officials issued a press release that named Eggleston the new superintendent “to ensure a smooth transition.”
Briers was livid.
“(Allen) is still here,” Briers said. “This makes me so angry.”
Briers also acknowledged that one of the many oddities of a State takeover provides the authority to the State Superintendent to name a new County Superintendent if the job becomes vacant. And the MPS Board would have no authority to block any candidate he chose.
ALSDE intervened in Montgomery in March and the takeover has not gone as smoothly as officials had hoped. County school board members, first accepting of the takeover, have soured on it after a few weeks and say Sentance and ALSDE officials have boxed them out of the process – something Sentance promised wouldn’t happen.