Some Alabama public school systems helped campaign for a "yes" vote on a statewide referendum to use trust fund money to support the state's operating budget.
Such campaigning is legal according to previous attorney general opinions, which state that school officials can advocate a political measure if it furthers the purposes and missions of the school system. However, Thomas J. Scovill wrote to Attorney General Luther Strange on Sept. 12 to complain he feels recently hired Limestone County Superintendent Thomas Fisk violated the law by contacting school system employees by email to urge them to vote in favor of the amendment.
In his letter to Strange, which Scovill provided to The News Courier, Scovill wrote: “…the scope of the amendment is so distant from the purposes and missions of a public school system” that a decision to support it would be “faulty.”
A reply from Strange, if one was made, was not made available to The News Courier before the vote.
In Limestone County, the measure failed by a vote of 4,593 against and 3,593 for the amendment. Voters were deciding whether to use $437 million from a state trust fund to help balance the state General Fund budget for three years.
WSFA-TV (http://bit.ly/OWsZ0T) reports that schools in Montgomery, Butler and Crenshaw county have used automated phone-calling systems to encourage parents to support the amendment on the ballot in Tuesday's vote.
In Shelby County, school workers received emails encouraging them to both support the amendment and to ask others to do so, too.
Montgomery County school board president Charlotte Meadows says she's concerned about her district's involvement and has gotten complaints from people who received co-called "robo-calls."
- Local News
Athens seeks to support Oklahoma
The Police Department is inviting the public to gather Friday, May 24, at noon on the east side of the Limestone County Courthouse. There will be a short commemorative service for the tornado victims and first responders in Oklahoma.
- North Alabama in slight risk category for severe weather; storms possible through Thursday
Alabama legislators' view of session depends on party
The Senate's Democratic minority leader, Vivian Davis Figures, called it the worst session of her legislative career.
- Medical examiner: 24 dead in Oklahoma twister
- Alabama governor offers help to Oklahoma
- First responders display tools of trade at exhibition
- EMA: Sirens activated before NWS issued warning
- Madison official offers update on County Line Road
- Ardmore company announces expansion
BREAKING: 51 dead in Oklahoma tornado
Children from Plaza Towers Elementary School were among the dead, but several students were pulled alive from the rubble. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain to the triage center in the parking lot.
- More Local News Headlines
- Athens seeks to support Oklahoma