Birmingham board members react to state intervention
Starting Monday, the Alabama Board of Education will send a four-member financial team to Birmingham help the school district draft a financial recovery plan. The changes would help the district put money in its reserve fund, which is currently $15 million short of the required state amount.
A couple of board members tell ABC 33/40, the situation isn't ideal, but they're confident the board will approve the plan. They have until June 26 or they will face a takeover, according to state officials.
Birmingham City Schools board member Alana Edwards says the board is moving forward."We are trying to get done as much as we can in a timely fashion and with the resources that we have. A lot of people don't realize that we have limited resources just like anyone else," Edwards says.
"We approved the plan so I don't see us not approving the process," she adds.Last week, in a 5-to-4 vote, the board rejected the state's original plan. They have since approved one with minor revisions.
Board member April Williams supported the state's recommendations from the start. In fact, Williams says the district could benefit from the intervention because it will need help with the paperwork involved in staff reductions.State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says 29 other school districts submitted financial plans by the May 27th deadline, but Birmingham did not. The final plan includes cutting nearly 200 jobs and consolidating North Birmingham Elementary and Lewis Elementary schools.Edwards says the cuts are difficult but necessary.
"We kind of have to make accommodations on behalf of the school system to make sure we can stay afloat and provide services to our students that they need to be successful," Edwards says.