School Flexibility Act and Its Affect on Decatur Schools

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DECATUR, Ala. - According to Decatur City Schools Superintendent, Ed Nichols, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered about the School Flexibility Bill, or House Bill 84.

"This new 28 page bill... we're not sure yet and we're still trying to figure out how you identify schools as failing. What kids? Is their zoning correct or eligible for the private school tuition credit? I mean, we're still looking at all that," says Nichols.

House Bill 84 would allow parents to remove their kids from failing public schools into private schools. On Wednesday, a judge set a temporary restraining order on the bill for 10 more days. This restricts Governor Bentley from signing the bill into law.

"The thing that's most important to me is the flexibility that has been given to school systems for the first time ever where school systems can develop their own plan," says Bentley.

A main concern for Nichols is which schools are failing.

On a prior list, "...one of those was Decatur High Developmental. That is a school that we have for kids that have significant cognitive disabilities, kids that are with us until they are 21. Their abilities range and so for them to be identified in any list as a failing school because these kids don't meet the graduation standards of Bob Jones or Decatur high is a little ridiculous," says Nichols.

"I invite the entire legislature to come see that school and tell me that they think what going on in that school is failing," says Nichols.


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