Mayor: Serious thought should go into city school system as MPS - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Mayor: Serious thought should go into city school system as MPS asks for state help

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Montgomery County Public School Board Tuesday night voted unanimously, (7-0) to ask the State of Alabama for assistance.

The Board will now submit a request for help to State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Tommy Bice and will ask that the state school board provide an education monitor for Montgomery Public Schools. The monitor would provide recommendations and support to move MPS toward continued excellence.

Montgomery Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson spoke in favor of the proposal.

When reached for comment on the vote, Dr. Bice was pleased with the decision. "This action by the Montgomery County Board aligns with our anticipated actions based the extended investigation. We will move aggressively to ensure student access to an academically sound learning environment," he said.

The Montgomery Public School System and State Dept. of Education are currently working toward a conclusion to an investigation of alleged, systemic grade changing allegations.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange called the vote a "very interesting development" and said he was supportive of the Board's actions to make positive changes.

The mayor said he has encouraged MPS and its board to be "above reproach" and have an independent monitor of some kind to monitor the grade credit recovery program.

Strange said he wants MPS to move in the right direction, but he added that he needs to talk to the Superintendent and school system leaders Wednesday to find out more about what this state monitor would specifically oversee.

Mayor Strange remains cautious, saying there may be need to be more serious about forming a city school system. He said Montgomery does not need a state run, or an appearance of a state run, school system. He said that would hurt economic development.

The mayor said it's not that the state can't do a good job, but he thinks it is important  to be locally run.

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