State representatives angry over state intervention - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

State representatives angry over state intervention

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Birmingham School Board members may vote again Tuesday on a reduction plan. Some lawmakers want to protect jobs on the chopping block and a local activist says a state intervention in the school system is racist.

State Representatives Mary Moore and John Rogers did not speak directly about the racist remark by a local activist, but they do believe the state's approach is not right. The state board can override it the board's vote if they don't pass the plan.

There's anger from State Representatives John Rogers and Mary Moore over State Superintendent Tommy Bice conducting Tuesday's board of education meeting in the middle of the day. They're also worried about their constituents and the students. State Representative Moore says "He is disenfranchising all the people who took time to vote for these school board members."

It will be the fourth time, the board is expected to vote on a reduction plan. State Representative Rogers says  "What about these poor people, fight for their jobs!"

State Representative John Rogers wants to know why Dr. Bice isn't taking over other school systems Rogers says are in the red.  "He's not in Huntsville, Mobile had a 13-million dollar deficit and is still in the hole, but he's not there."

State appointed CFO, Dr. Ed Richardson says it's a financial intervention that other systems have avoided because they passed a reduction plan. "If Birmingham had done this in early June as every other system had, then we wouldn't be having this conversation today."

William Muhammed, President of the Committee to Develop Birmingham, says the state board's action is unconstitutional and racist. Rogers response to that: "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it might be a duck, I don't know, I'm saying it doesn't look right."

Dr. Richardson says the standard to which Birmingham is being held is the same as all the districts. "It has nothing to do with race, it's a school system that has not met its standard."

And parents should know Tuesday when school will start. The board is expected to vote on that as well as make some policy changes.