Amendment 1: Here’s what you need to know before March 3 vote

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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Alabama voters on Super Tuesday, March 3, will have an opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on an amendment that, if passed, will dismantle the State Board of Education.

If passed, Amendment 1, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, would do three things. To start, it would change the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. Members would be appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate for up to two terms instead of elected by voters.

Next, the title “State Superintendent of Education” would be changed to “Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education,” and the position would be appointed by the commission and subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Lastly, the commission would have to adopt new education standards to replace “common core” standards.

The governor would also be charged with creating a team of state educators and other officials to advise the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education.

If the majority of voters approve of Amendment 1, a separate bill passed by the Legislature, Act 2019-510, will become law. This separate bill does two things. First, it requires the governor to consult with members of the minority political party of the Legislature when appointing members to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education.

Second, it requires the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education to report to the Legislature each year on state education policy objectives and methods to improve academic achievements.

There are no costs associated with implementing Amendment 1.