AEA settles lawsuit filed on behalf of Montgomery school employees

AEA settles lawsuit filed on behalf of Montgomery school employees
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Board of Education called a special meeting for 1 p.m. Friday "to discuss litigation" but did not provide any details about the meeting. Several hours later, more details came to light through a statement released by the Alabama Education Association.

The AEA confirmed it has reached a settlement agreement with the Alabama State Department of Education in a lawsuit it filed in September on behalf of MPS employees. AEA officials said they would hold a news conference Friday at 2 p.m. at the Montgomery County Board of Education to announce the agreement.

That suit was filed against State Superintendent Michael Sentance, who has since resigned, and Reginald Eggleston, Chief Education Officer for the MPS intervention and was prompted, according to AEA officials, after Sentance blocked the school board "from appointing a county superintendent and a general in-house counsel, uncontrolled spending resulting in reduced funding for MPS student needs, influx of hiring of non-certified employees, and multiple actions and proposed actions taken against MPS employees."

AEA officials said the settlement will require the state superintendent to develop a written intervention plan by Jan. 26 and present it to the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Per AEA, the plan must include:

  • The scope of intervention authority
  • The role of the MCBOE and MPS officials in day-to-day administration
  • Operational standards that must be met as preconditions to relax or relinquish intervention control and a timeline to reach those objectives, among other things.
  • The MCBOE will be permitted to hire an interim superintendent and legal in-house counsel within 30 days of the executed agreement and a permanent superintendent by May 30, 2018.

AEA said it was able to resolve the issue of the unlawful transfer of MPS custodians, adding they will remain in their current work locations but will be assigned to the Logistics Department for supervisory purposes only.

AEA also said the transfer matter concerning Lillian Sanders has also been resolved by her acceptance of another administrative position without a loss of status or pay.

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