Entries Tagged 'Schools' ↓

Clear Message: No Tax Money to Push Side in Referendum

A huge majority of people in Baldwin County say taxpayer dollars should not be used to support a side in a political referendum.

It’s an issue that came alive during the recent failed school tax referendum when the Baldwin County Public School system spent close to 250-thousand dollars pushing a yes vote. In March, the Baldwin County School Tax Hike went down in a flaming defeat. More than two-thirds voted against the idea and also killed several tax renewals.

“The board got the message loud and clear,” said Terry Wilhite, school system spokesman. “We certainly do believe it was a key factor (in the defeat) and if nothing else it was a huge distraction.”

 

via Clear Message: No Tax Money to Push Side in Referendum.

Spanish Fort residents, coaches, council speak out on athletic turf proposal | AL.com

Supporters of a $769,000 city expenditure for new artificial field turf at the high school football field say the expenditure is more of a community issue and not all about football.

Opponents say the city should focus its tax money on more city-related services while placing more of a focus on academics and not athletics.

Both sides got a chance to publicly speak their positions during a hearing Tuesday at The Gathering Place.

via Spanish Fort residents, coaches, council speak out on athletic turf proposal | AL.com.

State auditor to amend school campaign funding lawsuit to focus solely on attorney general | AL.com

He said by the end of the week his attorneys will file the amended suit, which will only name Strange, seeking a declaratory judgment to prevent school boards throughout Alabama from spending tax resources on campaigns. Previously, Zeigler has estimated there could be “up to 40 counties with referendums” in the next four years.

Should the lawsuit against Strange – which was filed in Montgomery Circuit Court and assigned to Judge Greg Griffin – be successful, Zeigler said he would then file a second suit against the five Baldwin County school officials seeking recompense.

“That suit should be short and sweet, but it will not be filed at all if we don’t win on the declaratory judgment,” he said.

via State auditor to amend school campaign funding lawsuit to focus solely on attorney general | AL.com.

Auditor Zeigler accuses Baldwin County school board of ‘worst political arrogance’ in campaign lawsuit involving attorney general | AL.com

State Auditor Jim Zeigler is again hurling accusations at Baldwin County school officials and Attorney General Luther Strange.

Zeigler, who is in part personally financing a lawsuit meant to keep school boards across the state from using tax money for political activity, says Strange can’t issue an opinion recently requested by the Baldwin Board of Education. The lawsuit names board members Norm Moore, David Tarwater, Angie Swiger and Shannon Cauley, as well as Superintendent Robbie Owen and Strange.

In the complaint, Zeigler also seeks restitution on behalf of Baldwin County citizens for $250,000 spent during the Build Baldwin Now campaign in advance of the March 31 property tax referendum, which primarily failed.

via Auditor Zeigler accuses Baldwin County school board of ‘worst political arrogance’ in campaign lawsuit involving attorney general | AL.com.

Lead or leave Baldwin County school system? Fairhopians discuss options amid funding woes | AL.com

“You can’t expect us to have the same type of educational excellence in Fairhope without paying for it.”

That was Kerry Flowers’ message Tuesday night to a group of around 100 parents, educators, civic leaders and others gathered to discuss the future of the Eastern Shore city’s schools. Flowers, chairman of Fairhope’s Education Advisory Committee, led the forum at Fairhope United Methodist Church.

He broke down for those gathered how the EAC had facilitated about $2.5 million in cash and in-kind services from the ci

via Lead or leave Baldwin County school system? Fairhopians discuss options amid funding woes | AL.com.

BCBE asks AG if it’s legal to use tax dollars to fight lawsuit – FOX10 News | WALA

Some will call it ironic – the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE) is asking the Alabama Attorney General if it’s okay to spend tax payer money to fight a lawsuit in court that was filed because of the way the BCBE spent taxpayer money on a campaign.

This comes after FOX10 News uncovered the BCBE spent in excess of $210,000 in tax dollars on the Build Baldwin Now campaign, which encouraged voters to pass an eight mill property tax increase that would build new schools.

The increase, and even some current funding was soundly voted down.

The BCBE referred to a 2003 Alabama Attorney General’s opinion before making those expenditures, which current AG Luther Strange backs up.

However, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler believes a 2010 campaign law deems the actions by the BCBE illegal, and has filed suit in Montgomery Circuit Courts to have a judge rule on the matter.

via BCBE asks AG if it’s legal to use tax dollars to fight lawsuit – FOX10 News | WALA.

Do Fairhope residents want a separate school system? – FOX10 News | WALA

Nearly 100 concerned Fairhope citizens showed up to an education forum Tuesday night, May 12, hosted by the City of Fairhope’s Education Advisory Committee.

The forum informed citizens about current Fairhope School expenditures and statistics, such as the 88 percent of students who graduate from Fairhope High School, who end up going to a two or four-year college.

Dr. Semoon Chang with the Gulf Coast Center for Impact Studies prepared a presentation for Tuesday’s meeting that explained some of the key issues of an under-funded county school system.

via Do Fairhope residents want a separate school system? – FOX10 News | WALA.

USA adding Gulf Coast campus in partnership with city of Gulf Shores | AL.com

The University of South Alabama now has three locations thanks to a partnership between the university and the city of Gulf Shores.

The facility is located at 19470 Oak Road West, the site of the city’s cultural center.

The three-year deal with the city of Gulf Shores offered “nice terms,” senior vice-president of academic affairs David Johnson told AL.com at the facility’s ribbon-cutting on Tuesday.

He said the satellite campus will focus on hospitality and tourism management with a big emphasis on continuing education.

via USA adding Gulf Coast campus in partnership with city of Gulf Shores | AL.com.

Baldwin County sees 4th consecutive record tourism year in 2014 with 5.7 million visitors | AL.com

Baldwin County and its beach cities notched another record year for tourism in 2014, attracting 5.7 million visitors who left behind an estimated $2.8 billion in the local economy.

The figures, based on an annual study conducted by the Alabama Tourism Department and Auburn University-Montgomery, were shared by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism President and CEO Herb Malone during the 2015 Tourism Summit on Tuesday.

via Baldwin County sees 4th consecutive record tourism year in 2014 with 5.7 million visitors | AL.com.

New Flag Flying at Spanish Fort High

From Mr. McRae

I am aware of a sign that was on our flag pole at SFHS today. I had it checked out and it’s interpretation is not a threat or anything that would cause us concern. I will be reviewing the cameras to try and find our who put the sign up.

Spanish Fort High

Spanish Fort High.

Tea party, Baldwin County School Board weigh the prioritization of Bay Minette Elementary School’s fix | AL.com

Heather Karras isn’t sure what will happen next month if the Baldwin County School System doesn’t have a plan moving forward to address the poor conditions of Bay Minette Elementary School.

She said at least 25 parents are ready to form some sort of coop and begin home schooling their children if the school building that has been replete with moldy classrooms and restrooms, isn’t replaced with portables or an addition.

via Tea party, Baldwin County School Board weigh the prioritization of Bay Minette Elementary School’s fix | AL.com.

Rev. Richard Schmidt comments on failed Baldwin tax vote at mayors’ prayer breakfast | AL.com

Citing Dr. Seuss, Desmond Tutu and the Holy Bible, retired Episcopal rector Rev. Richard Schmidt drew a direct line between American individualism and the failed school tax referendum in Baldwin County.

Schmidt, of Fairhope, addressed a crowd of about 450 at the 31st Annual Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast held Thursday, the National Day of Prayer, at the Daphne Civic Center. His topic: individualism vs. collectivism.

“The Bible sees human life more as a casserole than a bowl of hush puppies,” said Schmidt, an editor, author and former rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Daphne. “Each ingredient depends on the others and interacts with the others.”

via Rev. Richard Schmidt comments on failed Baldwin tax vote at mayors’ prayer breakfast | AL.com.

Baldwin County looking to hire four new principals, including Superintendent Robbie Owen’s replacement | AL.com

Four Baldwin County schools are in line for a new principal next school year. And that includes Rockwell Elementary in Spanish Fort, which has had only one leader since it opened in 1997: Robbie Owen, the current Baldwin schools superintendent.

And although Owen does still have a contractual opportunity to step back into the role he filled for the better part of a decade, he says he’s content leading the school system’s 45 schools instead of just one.

via Baldwin County looking to hire four new principals, including Superintendent Robbie Owen’s replacement | AL.com.

Spanish Fort city funds could pay for $769,000 in new high school stadium field turf | AL.com

If a Spanish Fort Toros football game is broadcast on TV this fall, Mayor Mike McMillan wants to make sure viewers glean a positive image of the city and its school.

The same goes for residents, families and others who attend one of the team’s home games in person.

“You want people who move in (to Spanish Fort) view the city has a progressive city and those kinds of things,” McMillan said Wednesday on one of the factors behind his support for an estimated $769,000 artificial playing surface purchase and installation at the high school’s football field.

via Spanish Fort city funds could pay for $769,000 in new high school stadium field turf | AL.com.

Baldwin schools take stock after tax defeat, lawsuit – LagniappeLagniappe

State Auditor Jim Zeigler filed a lawsuit May 1 in Montgomery County against Attorney General Luther Strange and the Baldwin County Board of Education over what he called misuse of taxpayer funds during the “Build Baldwin Now” campaign for higher property taxes in Baldwin County earlier this year.

Zeigler announced the lawsuit from behind a podium in the conference room at the Wind Chase Inn in Loxley on Monday. The suit names Zeigler, a Mobile resident, and Baldwin County residents David Peterson and Charles L. McMinn as plaintiffs.

Strange, school board President Norman Moore, Superintendent Robbie Owen and board members David Tarwater, Angie Swiger and Shannon Cauley are named as defendants.

via Baldwin schools take stock after tax defeat, lawsuit – LagniappeLagniappe.