School leaders, parents await Accountability Act hearing

Published: Dec. 2, 2014 at 10:31 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the AL Accountability...
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the AL Accountability Act. (Source: WAFF file)

In less than 24 hours, the Alabama Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act. The court's decision could impact where hundreds of Alabama children attend school.

A Montgomery Circuit Court judge struck down the act at a hearing in May. The decision was appealed.

The legislation allows students in failing schools to transfer to non-failing schools and awards tax credits if they transfer to private schools.

"This is not what school superintendents and school districts had initially signed on for," said Huntsville City Schools spokesperson Keith Ward.

According to Ward, the district joined dozens of others in calling for the courts to stop the Alabama Accountability Act. Huntsville has several schools the state designated as failing.

"We're certainly keeping abreast to what's going on with this case," said Ward.

We reached out to the Institute for Justice. A spokesperson for the organization said six accountability act scholarship parents will be in the courtroom on Wednesday to help defend the act, along with Attorney General Luther Strange and a slew of other attorneys.

"The Alabama Accountability Act increases educational opportunities for students who previously had no choice but to attend poorly performing public schools. The AEA's attempt to stifle those opportunities through litigation is misguided, and it will fail," said Arif Panju, an Institute for Justice attorney.

The Country Day School, a private school in Huntsville, has several students that transferred to the school because of the legislation.

"The Country Day School will watch with interest the Alabama Supreme Court hearing on the reinstatement of the Alabama Accountability Act," said founder Sherri Naff. "The scholarship students now attending The Country Day School are progressing well and are a welcome addition to our student body."

The Alabama Supreme Court hearing is expected to start at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.