MPS superintendent, Montgomery mayor react to school board decisions

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 9:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One year from now three Montgomery County high schools will likely have new names.

The school board voted Tuesday night to change them. The three Montgomery County high schools are Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Sidney Lanier, named after Confederate leaders or soldiers. The majority of the board voted to replace the current names because board members say the names don’t currently represent the students who attend the schools.

The name change won't happen right away. A committee has to be formed to start the process.

“To come in and actually come up with ways to come up with a new name,” said Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore. “It may be that they seek public input or as a committee they come up with a list of the suggested names, but that will be determined as they get together and have their first meeting. From that work, they will at some point make a recommendation to the school board, through the superintendent, about what those new names should be.”

There could be a penalty involved. The school district could face a $25,000 fine per school by the state, but a group has already raised close to $50,000 to help offset the costs.

Also Tuesday night, the board voted to move forward with a property tax referendum. The board wants to raise the tax 18.5 mills.

If approved by voters, the millage increase would generate an estimated $33 million in revenue each year for MPS. MPS’ current rate is the lowest amount allowed by state law.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed is in support of the property tax increase. Reed said if the system wants to improve, they’ll need the money to do it.

“We believe that it’s an important point for this community to decide if we’re going to invest in education or if we’re going to divest of any hope of gaining any type of traction that we need,” Reed said. “That means making sure that we invest in our schools that’s in a way that’s commensurate with the expectation we have of our school children, their parents, and the educators who are in them.”

Once the commission approves the referendum it will be on the November ballot.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.