More school districts not impacting state resources, state educa - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

More school districts not impacting state resources, state education official says

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More and more cities across central Alabama have recently made the decision to form a school system or are considering doing so.  This is the first year for Alabaster City Schools in Shelby County.  Pelham has just appointed its first school board and expect to break away by July. Jefferson County has two cities considering similar moves, Gardendale and Irondale. 
   
"We have tried for the last 10 years to put a few different standards of measures in place that would need to be examined before a municipal government could actually form its own school district," said Dr. Craig Pouncey, Chief of Staff for State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice. 

Any city with a population of 5,000 or more can form its own school system.  Many of those recently formed site an interest in providing students with a well-rounded education.  Those associated with some newly formed systems told ABC 33/40 their students were not getting the attention needed in a larger county school system. 

Dr. Pouncey says before any city decided to move forward with a school system of its own leaders must be aware of the risk. 
    
"Those city governments really weren't attuned to what the actual cost was. Consequently,  they struggled for the first few years. They've since then kind of stepped up and created additional revenue that gives them the flexibility to do some things that they could not have done apart of the county system," said Pouncey. 

Cities have greater ease in financially supporting schools because they aren't required to go through the same bureaucratic process as a county, says Pouncey. 

City councils can allocate funds and increase taxes to meet the financial needs of a school system. County systems are required to go through an often lengthy, politically charged process. 
  

 

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