Birmingham School Board Rejects Reduction Plan

The Birmingham School Board is gearing up for a legal fight over a state takeover. It comes after the board deadlocked on a reduction plan, effectively killing it.Four Board Members voted it down, four Board Members approved it and Board Member, April Williams, abstained from voting. After three hours of public comments and discussions, the reduction plan failed. Former State Superintendent Ed Richardson said he would be making a call Tuesday night to State Superintendent Tommy Bice about the board's decision.This is how the Board voted. April Williams abstained, Virginia Volker, Emanuel Ford, Tyrone Belcher and Ed Maddox voted no on the reduction plan. W. J. Maye, Alana Edwards, Phyllis Wyne and Brian Giattina voted yes.Richardson says the Superintendent's next step will be to appoint a Chief Financial Officer as well as a Chief Administrative Officer for the school system. He says the board was given two extensions on preparing the reduction plan. He also says they knew there was a possibility of a state takeover if this reduction plan was not approved. However, some board members did not agree with making the cuts slated. There was an hour long discussion that some board members say they did not realize that a plan submitted in April was rejected by the state board. The state board said that plan was not specific enough. But despite the confusion, the plan on the table tonight could not be agreed upon.Ed Richardson says "I don't think any of us want someone to come in here and take control of my business. I don't want people telling me what to do, so I'm sure it's the same in Birmingham. But that was clear on the table. I made the statement on behalf of the Superintendent. They chose to vote it down, that's the prerogative of the board. Now it's up to state board.The Birmingham School Board is now taking steps to see if there's a way to prevent a state takeover.