(February 26, 2020) – Alabama’s primary elections are on Tuesday, March 3, and the ballots will include the Presidential, U.S. Senate and Congressional races and various state and county offices. In addition to the party nominee elections, voters will also see a proposed statewide Constitutional amendment which would both change the name of the State Board of Education and the method of selecting the board from elected members to appointed. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber supports passage of Amendment One.
“Alabama has made significant progress in terms of our economy and jobs, but we must improve education,” said Chip Cherry, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “This is an issue that affects workforce development and recruiting. Education is one of the first things companies ask about when they look at Alabama. They ask if they can find qualified workers. They also ask if they will be able to recruit people to move here.”
If Amendment One passes, members of the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education would be selected by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Chamber believes that this change would help put the right people on the state board, with solid educational backgrounds and experience, overseeing the whole of improving Alabama’s public education system.
“We believe Governor Kay Ivey is very supportive of improving our schools, and would choose qualified people with extensive educational experience, who would then be confirmed by the Senate. The Governor has said numerous times we must do better for our children, and we agree,” Cherry added. “We believe approving Amendment One would create a board that speeds up progress in our schools throughout the state for a better educated future workforce.”
According to the National Association of State Boards of Education, Alabama is one of just seven states, along with the District of Columbia, where voters still choose all members of the state board of education.