Release of ‘failing’ schools list delayed

Published 11:51 am Thursday, June 13, 2013

A list of failing schools under the new Alabama Accountability Act will be released at 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to reports.

The list was to have been posted Thursday.

The controversial Accountability Act allows parents in districts with failing schools to get a tax credit for sending their children to private schools. When the act was debated in the Legislature this year, some unofficial lists circulated showed Escambia County High School on the list of failing schools.

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The act defines “failing schools” as those that are in the bottom 6 percent in the state for math and reading assessments over the past six years. Scores from the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT), graduation rates and graduation exam results will be used in the calculations.

The act’s passage created controversy after Republican lawmakers made heavy revisions to a school flexibility bill to get the tax credit passed.

In the last few days of the session, Gov. Robert Bentley sought to have the tax credit measure delayed by two years, but lawmakers rejected his amendment.

Public school officials across the state — including state Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice — were opposed to the tax credit.