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Amendment One opponent files complaint asking that wording be changed


State School Board member Jackie Zeigler (R) has filed a complaint claiming that the Amendment One wording does not make clear that it removes peoples’ right to vote for State School Board

Mrs. Zeigler has filed a complaint asking that wording of Amendment One on the March 3rd ballot be changed so that it is clear to voters that the proposed amendment would take away the right to vote on members of the State Board of Education and make them all appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R).

Jackie Zeigler says the wording does not make clear that the amendment would abolish the right to vote for members of the board.

“This wording veils the vital elimination of a board elected by the people and accountable to the people,” Jackie Zeigler wrote in her complaint. “The wording indicates a name change of the board and the Superintendent.”

The proposed wording reads:

“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to change the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the members of the commission by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate; to change the name of the State Superintendent of Education to the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the secretary of the commission, subject to the confirmation by the Senate; and to authorize the Governor to appoint a team of local educators and other officials to advise the commission on matters relating to the functioning and duties of the State Department of Education. . . .”

Zeigler is asking the commission and the Secretary of State to “re-word Amendment One to clearly indicate that it abolishes the right to vote on the State Board of Education.” She says the wording present wording violates the state constitution:

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Section 17-6-41 the Ballot for constitutional amendment reads:

Whenever a constitutional amendment is submitted to a vote of the qualified electors the substance or subject matter of each proposed amendment shall be so printed that the nature thereof shall be clearly indicated.

Mrs. Zeigler is leading a statewide campaign to vote ‘no’ on Amendment One. She has set up a Facebook campaign “Vote No on CA1: Keep your right to vote on State School Board.”

Zeigler is a former teacher, principal, and school administrator. Jackie Zeigler is married to State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R).

State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) sponsored Amendment One. Marsh has argued that an appointed Board is more responsive and is more willing to implement the governor’s education agenda. Marsh says that the top states for education have appointed board, while Alabama’s public education system is perennially ranked in the bottom five.

Gov. Ivey supported Amendment One and is urging everyone to vote Yes for the amendment.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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