Could Montgomery Start a City School System in Wake of Grade-Changing Probe?


By Brittany Bivins

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange speaks out about grade changing allegations in Montgomery Public Schools. He says if the problems aren't solved and the state takes over the school system, the city might start a school system of its own.
"What we'd do is take a blank sheet of paper and we'd start over. We'd be a city school system. That way, you'd have a new school board, you'd have a new administration."

That comes after State School Superintendent Tommy Bice sent a letter, asking the school system for reponses to five questions. School officials answered them, acknowledging the problem and promising to fix it.

"I think we're a local way from a takeover by the state. I think that is the worst case scenario and of course I certainly respect the mayor's opinion but I don't think that's going to happen," said Durden Dean, District 2 representative on the school board.

School officials say they will choose an objective outsider to investigate future allegations. Strange says that's key to fixing the problem.

"We called it city investigator. Someone that's external to the system, that those in the system feel if they've got issues, things they want investigated, it goes outside the chain of command," Strange said.

Strange says responding now could help stop a state takeover later.

"I think what happens will really be driven by the response that the school board and superintendent do to this cancer that we had in this grade changing," he said.


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