Mayor: AEA 'thwarting' efforts in MPS intervention

Mayor: AEA 'thwarting' efforts in MPS intervention
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the AEA is 'thwarting' the state's intervention of Montgomery schools. (Source: City of Montgomery Facebook)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange talked about Easter and baseball, then took a swing at the Alabama Education Association in his weekly "Tuesdays with Todd" Facebook video message.

The mayor, who apologized for having a hoarse throat, was clear-throated in his displeasure with the AEA over an ongoing lawsuit against the Alabama State Department of Education. The suit is in regards to the state's intervention into Montgomery Public Schools.

Strange said he's tried to work with the state to "move our school system forward" but adds "the AEA has really tried to thwart that effort."

One of the AEA's legal challenges is to Interim State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson's authority to close four schools and sell one, Georgia Washington Middle School, to nearby Pike Road.

Pike Road has since dropped its bid to purchase the school for nearly $10 million, but the suit is ongoing with an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Richardson has said he will move forward with plans to close the schools but will have to lay off hundreds of teachers and support staff as a result of the funding issues not solved by the sale of the school.

"It's really surprising that they [the AEA] would be supportive of laying off 250 teachers and other central office workers where one simple action would allow $10 million to be included in our budget," Strange said.

The mayor is asking residents to "be informed" and vote in an upcoming election in which five of seven MPS board sets are up for grabs.

WSFA 12 News has reached out to the AEA for comment.

You can watch Mayor Strange's video statement below.

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