School Board Discusses Alabama Accountability Act – The Selma Times-Journal

School Board Discusses Alabama Accountability Act

Published Monday 21 November 2022 8:15 am

By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times Journal

Several points were discussed at this year’s final Dallas County School Board meeting Thursday night in the Commissioner’s Chambers.

Dallas County Superintendent Anthony Sampson was among the first to speak at the meeting, discussing a plan to correct the low scores the school district had on Alabama Accountability Act credentials.

The Alabama Accountability Act creates Provides educational flexibility from certain state requirements for existing public schools, establishes a tax credit bursary program, and introduces refundable tax credits for parents of students in unsuccessful K-12 public schools. The Accountability Act brings Alabama in line with 12 other states that offer education tax credits and tax-credit scholarships.

The Accountability Act is a significant step towards improving the educational outcomes of students in struggling schools. Several schools had either a D or an F grade after the transcripts came out. Sampson issued a press release ahead of the meeting to discuss his reactions to the testimonies.

“We have business in Dallas County,” Sampson said. “We have important work to do for the students of the Dallas Country School System. When I arrived, I set up the Curriculum and Instruction Department, which worked with me to help identify the schools that needed improvement. The information released today contains no surprises. We are already working on improvements.

“Parents, remember, the testimony released today reflects where Dallas County was last year. We won’t be here next year and I promise you that over the next two to three years our community will be proud of our progress. As we begin to implement changes across the district, I ask each of you to work with us by being actively involved in your school and by being aware of your child’s academic status. We’re going to make a difference in DCSS.” Sampson proposed a plan to fix the testimonies, and the board voted to approve the proposal. In other matters, the board approved the extension of school board attorney Malika Sanders-Fortier’s contract for another year. The board also approved a bid to order new HVAC systems for schools in the district. The HVACS will go to Southside, Southside Primary and Tipton-Durant Middle School.

In legal business, the board authorized Fortier to proceed legally to lift sanctions allowing students from other counties to attend schools in the Dallas County School District.

“We want to be able to remove any barriers that would prevent a student from going to school in Dallas County,” Sampson said. “Dallas County is a great place to live, work and send kids to school. So if surrounding communities want their children to go to school in Dallas County, we want to make sure we overcome these barriers that exist due to historical measures to give students an opportunity to attend school.”

The final business item was the passing of the presidential gavel from former President Mark Story to incoming President Mamie W. Solomon.

“I am pleased for Mrs. Solomon and the opportunity for her to lead the board and serve as CEO,” said Sampson. “I still have five bosses. The CEO is the leader, so my primary first line of communication will always be with the CEO. It is a pleasure to work with my entire board.”