SCHOOL FLEX ACT ALLOWS SCHOOLS TO INNOVATE AT LOCAL LEVEL
Rep. Chad Fincher (R-Mobile) sponsors House Bill 84 as part of 2013 Legislative Agenda
MONTGOMERY – School districts and school systems across Alabama face diverse issues in meeting the needs of their student populations. The rules and regulations passed down by the State Department often lack the flexibility needed to address these issues in a specific, localized manner. It is imperative that schools be allowed the latitude to make decisions that will improve student achievement and student outcomes in their communities. That’s why in Alabama, we dare defend our right to reform education.
Under the Local Control School Flexibility Act, or House Bill 84, Alabama’s 134 public school systems would be provided the necessary freedoms to address their respective issues at the local level. State Representative Chad Fincher (R-Mobile) will sponsor the bill which is a part of the House Republican Caucus Agenda – “We Dare Defend Our Rights.” As part of the agenda, it will be one of the first bills addressed during the upcoming Legislative Session.
“The Local Control School Flexibility Act is a very important step towards education reform in Alabama,” Rep. Fincher said. “In order for us to improve education in our state, we must encourage innovation in our schools. Innovation tailored to a school’s unique situation provides the best possible scenario to improve outcomes.”
“The parents and local school boards know what is best for their students – not Montgomery,” Rep. Fincher said. “This act gives them the opportunity to make those decisions.”
Currently, Alabama’s public schools can seek a waiver from regulations and policies put into place by the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education. The Local Control School Flexibility Act expands the current program by giving school systems the chance to seek a waiver from any state statute.
The act labels any system or school that has been granted such a waiver an “innovative” system or school. The “innovative” school or system would then work with the State Board of Education as well as the State Superintendent to jointly create a “flexibility contract,” which would outline the state statute, regulation or policy from which the school is seeking relief in order to operate in a more flexible, innovative way.
For instance, the act could provide school systems with more freedom to hire and assign personnel, partner with business and industry professionals, or bring retired teachers back to the classroom – the list of possibilities is all but endless.
To read the facts on the School Flex Act, click here: Fact Sheet: We Dare Defend Our Right to Reform Education (333)
To read the full text of the School Flex Act, click here: HB84- Local Control School Flexibility Act (Full bill text) (385)