Montgomery School Board Members React to Aggressive Intervention Plan
Montgomery School Board members are reacting to the aggressive five year plan laid out today by the Interim State Superintendent.
“What do we want? Do we want the reserve where it is basically a savings or do we want to maximize all of our money and put it behind children,” says Arika Watkins-Smith.
Smith says it is not a plan for student success. Board Member Lesa Keith thinks otherwise. It is something that she says she has been waiting for, for years.
“If there are parents out there that agree with that then that’s what is wrong with Alabama and it’s time that we step forward, roll our sleeves up and listen to this man that has actually made a decision,” says Keith.
Board Member Melissa Snowden says the plan is a lot to digest but she is willing to work with the state department in the best interest of the students.
“I agree that we have to address student achievement. We are going to have to make financial cuts. I am concerned that we are going to have to make more cuts to address the academic needs that are really out there,” says Snowden.
However, one of Snowden’s concerns is with the selling of Georgia Washington Middle School which will be sold to the Pike Road School System.
“Those children that attend that school are happy. They are well-adjusted,” says Snowden.
“The majority of our conversation has been about the finances and selling Georgia Washington. That’s not a plan. That is a task to come in and do something, get it done and get out the way and say I don’t care what happens,” says Smith.
While some fear, that closing four schools elevates the problem, others think it is a step in the right direction.
“I think it was a very aggressive and detailed plan. I think the city of Montgomery will be proud of the plan. I think ultimately we’re going to help the children,” says Keith.
Officials say part of the deal includes an additional 1.49 million dollars to be paid to MPS to correct a clerical error that was made in 2016. That brings the total transaction to 11.25 million dollars.
The Montgomery school board initially voted against the sale of Georgia Washington Middle School after community members voice their concerns.