Birmingham School Board meets after Judge Brown's Ruling - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham School Board meets after Judge Brown's Ruling

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Some saying, The Birmingham School Board has changed for the better. The meeting ran smoothly following a court injunction prohibiting board members from overriding any policies made by the state.

The meeting seemed to move a little quicker even though board members have not yet talked with their attorneys about the judge's ruling, but they accomplished a lot and still have much to do like filling twelve teacher positions before school starts.

A much different scene during Tuesday night's Birmingham Board of Education meeting. No community voice, just business. State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says "People worked together, we put things aside which we felt needed more clarification."

Board members, even gave compliments to Dr. Bice on how he conducted the meeting and people noticed. Richard Franklin with the American Federation of Teachers says "They really began to focus on the schools and the business of educating our children."

Just one day after a Jefferson County judge ruled in favor of a state takeover, Superintendent Craig Witherspoon says the board was able to get a lot done.  "I think the meeting went well. A lot of items the last couple of meetings we weren't able to move."

They approved consolidating some operations into one building, which will save three-hundred thousand dollars a year.

They also talked about accreditation for the district and what to do to make sure it's not in jeopardy.  And with school just around the corner, there was some good news. Many terminated employees have been hired back.  Parent Reba Harris says "I think it's great. We need to get back to the basics and think about our children."

One thing that did not come up was Board President Edward Maddox's residency.  Along with Judge Houston Brown's ruling, was a  a Findings of Fact document stating Maddox lives outside the Birmingham City limits, which is a violation of law. It says he owns a rental property on 53rd Street North in Birmingham, but lives in Trussville.  ABC 33/40 went over to the Birmingham address and found him there. Maddox showed us a homestead court document which listed when he bought the house. He says he lives there, but still owns a house in Trussville. He says his wife lives there and they are separated.

Dr. Bice says because Maddox is an elected official, that issue is one the city would look into.