Montgomery City Council Members Speak Out on Possible City School System


By Brittany Bivins

There's still a lot of talk about the future of the Montgomery County School System. That comes after the Board of Education voted to approve a mutual separation with Superintendent Barbara Thompson.

The school system is facing multiple challenges - allegations of grade changing, a state investigation and now a search for new leadership. That has some Montgomery city officials wondering if the city would be better off starting its own system.

That's after the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to part ways with Superintendent Barbara Thompson. Council member Glen Pruitt proposed a study into a city school system in 2011. He says Montgomery needs that now even more than it did then.

"I wish, Glen wishes, that we'd have started this study a year and a half ago. We might not be in the situation that we're in now," Pruitt said.

Councilman C.C Calhoun disagrees, telling Alabama News Network, "We already have a school system for the city. It's the Montgomery County School System. Instead of working on building a new system, we should be focusing on improving the one we already have."

Strange says Thompson's leaving pushes the council closer to talks of a city system, but it's not a sure thing.

"This is not an easy decision. There are a lot of ramifications. I'm just not sure where we are today until we see where the board is going, would we undertake that, but it is a viable option," Strange said.

Other council members say they want to wait and see how the state investigation and possible intervention plays out.

"At least we could have the data there to look at, But I think we have a county school system, and we need to try to support it right now," City Councilman Arch Lee said.

Montgomery County Board of Education members have not set a timeline for choosing a new superintendent. Their next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Margaret Allen has been appointed interim superintendent.

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