Amendment 1: What to know about move to take peoples’ vote out of Alabama education leadership

When voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, March 3, they will not only vote on candidates in the primary. They will also vote on creating a newly formed Alabama education commission for grades K-12.

Posted: Feb 24, 2020 8:43 PM

When voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, March 3, they will not only vote on candidates in the primary.

They will also vote on creating a newly formed Alabama education commission for grades K-12.

A 'yes' vote on Amendment One would allow a governor to appoint their own members to a newly created Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. The name would change from the current Board of Education.

The Alabama Senate would then need to approve them. If approved, the amendment would also allow the governor's commission to appoint its own secretary of education.

The new commission would also adopt education standards in place of the controversial Common Core, which sets national standards to help students prepare for college or a career.

A 'no' vote would continue to allow voters to choose members of the Alabama Board of Education.

Opponents of the proposed amendment like Jessica Barker, the president of the African-American grassroots group, New South, argues that the amendment takes away voters' right to decide who can represent them on a local level.

She believes the people, not the governor, should keep control over the board.

"I think that because the governor is so far removed from the actual issues affecting people of color and impact those of the low socio-economic sector," said Barker. "I think that she is so removed, whoever she appoints, they may not even be familiar with those issues."

Members of Gov. Kay Ivey's own political party are against Amendment One, not only based on the argument that is takes away voter choice, but that it is also vague on doing away with Common Core altogether.

State Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan believes the legislature should do away with the national standard separately.

"We do not need (Common Core) mandated from up above and people who do not live here at all," said Lathan. "We can handle our own education ourselves, and with common core, it's sort of a one size fits all. It's not a one size fits all."

Advocates of Amendment One like former state board of education member Mary Scott Hunter believe a new commission would make one person, the governor, accountable for education.

"The governor, if they run on education and they make promises about public education, they better darn well deliver because they have the power to do that," said Scott Hunter.

From a business standpoint, Chip Cherry, the president and CEO of the Huntsville-Madison Chamber of Commerce, argues that approving Amendment One would create a board that speeds up improvements in education for a better educated future workforce.

"It's really about the outcome and how you get there and how you do it effectively," said Cherry. "At the end of the day, our young people need as good a start as they can possibly get."

We attempted to interview Ivey for this story on numerous occasions. Her staff eventually scheduled an interview, changed the date and then cancelled.

We will continue to keep the door for communications open for the governor's comments.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 196139

Reported Deaths: 2454
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby31202472
Davidson26874312
Hamilton968795
Knox968180
Rutherford952392
Williamson542336
Sumner492298
Wilson360547
Putnam338344
Montgomery317446
Unassigned30834
Madison306366
Bradley298817
Out of TN293927
Sevier267715
Blount258924
Maury245726
Washington239338
Sullivan226533
Robertson225539
Hamblen196528
Tipton186019
Gibson174625
Trousdale16757
Hardeman158926
Wayne15055
Dyer143017
Bedford138017
Coffee130214
Dickson129716
Fayette123621
Weakley123421
Loudon12267
Anderson122413
Cumberland122319
Obion122011
Carter119928
Henderson119524
Greene118546
McMinn117626
Jefferson116114
Lawrence110814
Warren10857
Monroe108319
Hardin107716
Macon107021
Lauderdale101716
Franklin101010
Haywood100623
McNairy93018
Lake9282
Carroll91720
Roane9176
Bledsoe8644
Rhea86315
White85610
Hawkins84320
Cheatham8289
Marshall7915
Overton7826
Cocke75910
Johnson7523
Smith74511
Giles65417
Chester65311
Lincoln6461
Henry64010
Hickman6128
Fentress5884
DeKalb57614
Crockett55819
Marion5558
Decatur5387
Campbell4674
Claiborne4495
Polk41010
Grainger4043
Union3822
Benton3428
Jackson3355
Grundy3266
Morgan3253
Cannon3041
Unicoi2921
Humphreys2683
Sequatchie2493
Clay2435
Houston2432
Meigs2313
Scott2252
Stewart2232
Lewis2111
Moore1881
Van Buren1670
Perry1530
Pickett1312
Hancock1093

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