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WHEREAS, in 1854, the Alabama Legislature established a state public school system with the State Superintendent of Education to be elected by the voters of the state of Alabama; and
WHEREAS, since its inception in 1854, 39 State Superintendents of Education have spearheaded the Alabama Department of Education; and
WHEREAS, in 1856, the population of Alabama was 717,073, the state’s 1,152 public schools had an enrollment of 89,160 students being taught by 1,195 teachers, and the Alabama Department of Education was a one-man department; and
WHEREAS, today, the state of Alabama has 129 local school systems with 1,529 public schools and 47,317 teachers serving more than 732,462 students, and the Alabama Department of Education has evolved into a vital arm of state government charged with administering school policies determined by the State Board of Education and authorized by law; and
WHEREAS, despite financial setbacks, the 150-year existence of the Alabama Department of Education has been distinguished by many outstanding contributions to public education in Alabama; and
WHEREAS, the accomplishments of the Alabama Department of Education span three centuries, including “progressive education” as a result of the courses of study in 1941 as well as special education services as authorized by the Alabama Exceptional Child Act in 1971 – four years before Congress required all states to provide such services, to the establishment of the nationally acclaimed Alabama Reading Initiative in 1998, to the new and improved Accountability Report Cards in 2004; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Department of Education has the responsibility and sometimes daunting task of providing a quality education to the hundreds of thousands of students who attend the public schools of this state; and
WHEREAS, Alabama Department of Education staff members work tirelessly to maintain and strengthen the educational opportunities afforded to young people in the state of Alabama:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education does hereby commend the Alabama Department of Education and its employees upon reaching this important milestone, and does hereby express its appreciation for their expertise and commitment to the public schools, teachers, parents, students, and citizens in the state of Alabama.