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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: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 55986

Reported Deaths: 685
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby12549208
Davidson12234132
Rutherford323437
Hamilton300736
Sumner172755
Williamson151515
Trousdale15035
Knox13929
Out of TN12307
Wilson106017
Putnam9267
Robertson87511
Bradley8744
Sevier8573
Unassigned8302
Lake6960
Tipton6625
Bledsoe6241
Montgomery6207
Bedford5898
Macon5114
Maury4063
Hamblen3974
Hardeman3744
Fayette3443
Madison3392
Loudon3021
Rhea2930
Blount2723
Dyer2703
McMinn25518
Cheatham2432
Dickson2310
Washington1970
Cumberland1934
Lawrence1926
Anderson1662
Lauderdale1643
Sullivan1592
Jefferson1481
Gibson1471
Monroe1416
Smith1362
Coffee1320
Greene1222
Hardin1197
Obion1172
Cocke1160
Haywood1082
Franklin1013
Marshall1011
Warren1000
Hickman950
Wayne900
Marion874
McNairy841
Lincoln780
Giles771
White773
Carter751
Roane710
DeKalb700
Overton671
Weakley671
Hawkins662
Grundy652
Campbell621
Claiborne590
Henderson560
Unicoi560
Carroll491
Chester480
Grainger480
Polk480
Henry470
Crockett443
Johnson440
Sequatchie420
Cannon410
Humphreys352
Perry350
Meigs340
Jackson330
Morgan291
Fentress250
Stewart250
Decatur240
Scott210
Union190
Clay180
Moore170
Houston160
Benton131
Hancock90
Lewis70
Van Buren70
Pickett60

 

 

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