Time for Change

MPS is not meeting the required standards, which justified intervention for academic and financial reasons. Unless significant progress is made, one would have to consider whether MPS can remain accredited. It has been my observation that a major variable contributing to intervention is the (Montgomery County) Board of Education.

If a school system is under intervention, it is the Board of Education’s fault. My primary standard for intervention will be the performance of this Board of Education. If performance is not substantially improved then more stringent intervention measures will need to be implemented.

Financial Intervention Standards for MPS

  • MPS was significantly delinquent in compiling items critical to sound fiscal operations
    • Operating without an approve budget. Currently, requesting a delay.
    • Unable to produce year-end financial statements and related supporting data.
    • Filings required to receive state funds
  • Applications for expenditure of federal funds not submitted three months into the fiscal year.
    • Several federal applications had not been started in eGAP
    • Applications typically started mid-summer in connection with budget preparation.
  • Considered Collectively, these items signaled a rapidly declining financial transaction within MPS and placed undue exposure to risks, including loss of funds which threatened to deprive students of essential educational services.

Student Transportation Intervention Standards

  • Deficiencies in student transportation systems management and operations.

Academic Intervention Standard

  • 40 out of 50 Montgomery Public Schools were below the state’s proficiency rate of 41% on the 2015-2016 ACT ASPIRE Assessment

I am confident that in time, working together, the Board of Education will assume its full authority including the appointment of a superintendent. As a reminder, I will be observing the actions of the Montgomery County Board of Education to make such a determination.

– Excerpted from Dr. Ed Richardson’s report to the Montgomery County School Board on September 28, 2017.
Dr. Ed Richardson, Interim State Superintendent of Education speaking at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, December 7, 2017

MPS Elections

February 9th at 5 p.m. – Qualifying Ends

June 5th – Elections for Montgomery County Board of Education Districts 1,2,3,5 and 6

I want to learn more about how to run for the school board!


Standards, Roles and Responsibilities of a School Board

In his December 7, 2017 address to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson described a number of the key roles and responsibilities of the board and the repercussions of failing to meet them:

  • The minimum requirement of all Alabama Public Schools is to maintain a minimum of one month’s operating balance. The Montgomery system has not met that minimum standard in the last five years, and indeed has only met it once in the last ten. It is clear that the board of education during that time has not met their responsibility, which is one of the major responsibilities – oversight of finances.
  • The oversight of student achievement is a major responsibility of a board of education…, and in my view, it has not fulfilled its responsibility.
    • This year, MPS lost 790 students, resulting in a loss of $1.5M in state funds, or the equivalent of one school.
    • 80% of MPS schools (40 schools) did not meet the minimum threshold for academic achievement. 70% of schools must exceed the minimum threshold in order to be released from intervention.
    • The average ACT score for non-magnet schools is 14 or 15. The State averge is 20. ACT College Readiness benchmarks predict that a student must score at least in the low 20s to have a 50% chance of success in college.

In my opinion, the inaction of the board has been the overriding problem for the Montgomery Public Schools.  It is time for all of us to get on the same page and no longer accept excuses. The Montgomery Public Schools can and must do better.

Learn more about the roles, responsibilities, and standards of school boards.

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