State, City and Parents React to Montgomery Co. School Board's Feud

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By Jessica Gertler

People appear split on whether they think the state should take over Montgomery Public Schools as the county school board president has proposed.

"I am bringing it to the board's attention," says board member Mary Briers on Friday.

In a heated meeting Friday afternoon, a letter drafted by School Board Chairman Charlotte Meadows was revealed.

"She wants the state superintendent to take over the school board, and specifically asks that the state appoints an interim superintendent," says Briers.

"I think that's where the story is going next.," says Mark Montiel, host of The Capitol BUZZ radio show.

CBS 8 News listened to the show Monday morning.

"The Alabama State Department of Education should take over the system. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of problems going on in the system," says Brenda, a caller and MPS parent.

And when State Senator Dick Brewbaker called in, we asked if the state has ever taken over a school system before.

"[Birmingham] is by far the largest," Brewbaker says. "This could happen. There is precedent for it, and the law says in certain situations allows it."

But in a statement from State Superintendent Tommy Bice, he "considers an intervention into a school system a very serious action," and goes on to say "as of now, there are no plans to exercise general control and/or supervision of Montgomery County Public Schools."

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says he stands by Superintendent Barbara Thompson, and says "We have a better school system today then we have had in many many many years."

Brewbaker says a possible solution to all of this is splitting up the school system, and creating a school district for the city and school district for the county.



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