MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House has approved legislation that supporters say will give local school districts the authority to make changes in rules and regulations to improve education in Alabama public schools.
The House voted 65-37 mostly along party lines to pass the legislation called the Local Control Flexibility Act. The Republican majority in the House supported the bill and said it would allow local schools in some cases to change rules and regulations that school officials feel are getting in the way of quality education.
Democrats mostly opposed the legislation. House Democratic leader Craig Ford, of Gadsden, said he feared it would allow schools to get rid of programs such as drug prevention and teacher tenure. The bill now goes to the Senate for debate.
Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, said that he voted “no” on the school flexibility act because it would allow schools to opt out of state laws that he says are in place for a reason.
“The Legislature has spent many years putting these laws in place, and for us to come down here in week two (of the session) and wipe them out, that’s not good government.”
He also reiterated other Democrats’ concerns that the bill could erode teacher tenure and called it a “back door” to charter schools.
TimesDaily Montgomery Bureau Chief Mary Sell contributed to this report.