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Ivey on proposed school board overhaul: ‘Strongly urge’ support of this ‘bold change’

Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday released a statement in strong support of legislation being introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) that would propose a historic overhaul of the state school board.

The proposal was first reported on by Yellowhammer News on Wednesday.

“Since day one, I have made it abundantly clear to the people of Alabama, our students and educators across the state that improving our education system is a top priority of mine as governor,” Ivey said. “We can all agree that Alabama students should be given the opportunity for a quality education. Unfortunately, that is not happening today.”

On Thursday, Ivey also delivered a letter to the state board regarding the legislation, which would be a constitutional amendment that, if passed by the Alabama Legislature, would need to be approved by the people of the state in a referendum. The proposal would replace the current elected elected State Board of Education with the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education, members of which to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

Previous to this letter, the governor has held personal conversations with each of the current board members and the state superintendent of education on this issue.

Ivey explained, “We have been listed at the bottom of just about every education ranking you can find. We need education leaders and a structure that works in the best interest of our students. With this bold change, we will establish accountability and stability at the top, improving educational outcomes for all students across the state.”

“Our students and teachers deserve much more from our educational system, and this constitutional amendment is a way forward for Alabama’s future,” the governor concluded. “We must refuse to be complacent with our poor educational rankings. I strongly urge members of the Alabama Legislature and people across the state to join me in supporting this bill.”

Marsh’s legislation was not yet available on the state legislature’s online filing system as of 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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