ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ISSUING NOTICE TO SELMA CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION OF ITS INTENTION TO CONSIDER INTERVENTION
|WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education is empowered and obligated by law to exercise general control and supervision over the public schools of the State through the State Superintendent of Education and his professional assistants; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with applicable statutory requirements, the State Superintendent may (1) exercise direct and comprehensive control over the decision making, operational, and instructional functions of city and county boards of education when the demonstrated inability of such boards of education to discharge such functions threatens to deprive students of essential educational services and (2) implement such organizational reforms and accountability measures as may be necessary to restore and maintain stable and efficient provision of sound and educationally appropriate services at the local level; and
WHEREAS, the State Superintendent has found and determined that the public schools operated by the Selma City Board of Education are priority schools, and that operational, administrative, and instructional conditions and deficiencies exist in the Selma City School System, which conditions and deficiencies adversely implicate the ability of the Selma City School System to comply with mandatory financial, legal, and programmatic standards and requirements; and
WHEREAS, the State Superintendent and members of his staff have attempted to secure compliance on the part of the Selma City Board of Education with such standards and requirements through formal and informal consultation, direction, and an investigation resulting in findings that documented serious operational, supervisory, and administrative deficiencies in the Selma City School System; and
WHEREAS, as a result of said investigation, the Selma City Board of Education was directed by the State Superintendent to submit a remedial plan to address the deficiencies identified in the aforementioned investigatory report; and
WHEREAS, in response thereto, the Superintendent for Selma City Board of Education presented a proposed corrective action plan for review by the State Superintendent which had not yet been approved by the Selma City Board of Education; and
WHEREAS, by letter dated November 13, 2013, the State Superintendent directed the Selma City Board of Education and its administrative staff to (1) finalize and formally adopt the measures described in the corrective action plan in the form of a summary comprehensive document; (2) apply all of the measures described therein systematically on an annual basis for the next two years; (3) track progress in implementing the remedial measures on a quarterly basis; and (4) submit an initial progress report to the State Superintendent no later than March 15, 2014; and
WHEREAS, the State Superintendent received on January 15, 2014, a new submission of a corrective action plan approved by the Selma City Board of Education at its board meeting on December 12, 2013; and
WHEREAS, said plan, as approved by the Selma City Board of Education, was presented to the State Superintendent significantly after the timeframe of twenty-one days for a response; and
WHEREAS, the corrective action plan under submission is further deficient because the Selma City Board of Education has not submitted an accompanying summary comprehensive document or confirmation that remedial measures will be applied systemically, nor has it provided a mechanism to track progress in implementing its remedial measures on a quarterly basis, as instructed by the State Superintendent; and
WHEREAS, without these specific actions and assurances, the plan’s broad approach for overall school improvement fails to address the primary findings of the investigation and lacks the necessary accountability measures to ensure its timely implementation; and
WHEREAS, implementation of the corrective action is necessary to (1) ensure the maintenance of operational and programmatic effectiveness in Selma City Schools and avoid significant loss of educational opportunities for Selma's students; (2) eliminate deleterious internal and public controversy and discord and restore public confidence in the integrity of the school system; and (3) ensure compliance with accountability standards imposed by state law, including but not limited to those contemplated by Act No. 2013-310; and
WHEREAS, the State Superintendent has requested that the State Board of Education approve educational intervention in the Selma City School System under authority of Act No. 2013-310:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Alabama State Board of Education that the State Superintendent is hereby directed to issue notice to the Selma City Board of Education of its intention to consider said request for intervention authority at its next regularly scheduled meeting and to afford the Selma City Board of Education an opportunity to demonstrate why such action is not warranted and should not be approved as prescribed by Act No. 2013-310.
Approved this 17th day of January, 2014.