State intervention in Midfield City Schools is apparently coming to an end.
That's what State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice recommended at an Alabama Department of Education work session today. Bice also says the other local system under state control, Birmingham City Schools, still has a ways to go.
Bice drove a quick and clean comparison today between Midfield and Birmingham. Midfield City Schools, he says, have cooperated with the state intervention and just 18 months later, they're ready to get out of state control. But Birmingham on the other hand has pushed back, according to Bice, and that means they're not even close to getting out of state intervention.
"[Midfield City Schools] made the strategic decision that they wanted to work with us and let us make some of those hard decisions. And rather than push back on that but work with us. And because of it, 18 months later we're able to remove from intervention Midfield City Schools with their finances intact, with their academic program not perfect but moving in the right direction, with the right people. It's just the perfect example of how this can work. It's been a little more challenging obviously in Birmingham, but it's moving in the right direction. But it just shows, as in Midfield, with the right cooperation it can move even faster," Bice said.
Bice told the Alabama Department of Education that Midfield is a model for state intervention and says he sees a bright future for that system. In Birmingham, Bice says the state team will stay in place for at least the next year to make sure the promised one-month reserve fund materializes. Dr. Bice did say he sees an opportunity for a reset with the new school board members coming on next month.
"We'll have a meeting with the new board in early October, and they're bringing in a consultant whose worked on these situations before," Bice said.
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