SELMA, AL (WSFA) - For the second straight year, the Selma City school system did not make Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP. Nine of the ten schools in the system made AYP but Selma High School did not, for the third year in a row.
"Any time a school system doesn't make AYP, it costs you financially," said Don Jefferson, Superintendent for Selma City Schools.
That's because the system has to allocate more of the federal funds it receives to programs to improve performance, leaving fewer Title 1 dollars for the system to use at all of its schools. The system is already having financial difficulties. The school board rejected a plan in May to close three schools to save money.
"What we are going to do is remain positive," Jefferson said. "I know that we're going to find a way, I know this is my charge as superintendent of the Selma City School system to keep the system financially solvent and increase student achievement."
Parents we spoke with are hopeful about the system's progress. Several schools reported improved performance on key measures.
"You have to be in the school system for a while in order for the schools to improve," said Ann Blevins of Selma. "They can't expect the teachers to be there for a short period of time, you have to give them a chance to really prove themselves."
Jefferson said the No Child Left Behind Act does gives school leaders a chance to pinpoint a school's weaknesses. But he says as the goals increase year by year, it may be harder for a lot of school systems to reach their targets.