Local educator explains impact of Alabama’s proposed Amendment One

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LAMAR COUNTY, Ala. (WCBI) – From the ballot box to the grade book — Alabama voters face a number of important decisions on March 3, but one of them could have a major impact on education throughout the state.

Voters will have the opportunity to vote “yes” or “no” for Amendment One — a controversial proposal that determines the future of the state school board.

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Right now, the State Board of Education members are elected by the people.

After March 3, there’s a possibility new members, as well as the state Superintendent, will be appointed by the Governor and other state leaders.

Vance Herron is the current Superintendent for Lamar County, Alabama.

He was elected to this position three years ago.

“We feel like the people should have a voice,” said Herron.

On March 3, Herron is up for re-election, but there’s another matter on the ballot that has his attention.

It’s called Amendment One.

“They will see where it’s renaming the state board of education and renaming the superintendent of education,” said Herron.

Herron said this wording can be deceiving.

“It’s allowing the governor to appoint our state board members… The people of not just this county, but the state, are going to lose their vote,” said Herron.

County board members will still hold elections, but Herron said changing school officials on a state level will have a noticeable effect.

“The State Board of Education and the State Superintendent pretty much set standards that we all have to go by in the state of Alabama,” said Herron.

He said whoever the Governor appoints isn’t required to have a background in education.

“We’re not sure what direction we would be going into, who we would answer to. We’re not sure about what kind of curriculum would be put out there for us to teach,” said Herron.

If the people vote “yes” on Amendment One, Herron said it won’t be long until area students see a change.

“A lot of things are going to get took away on the local level. There’s a lot of decisions that’s going to be made for us from Montgomery without even considering if that’s the best thing for our system or not… If there’s too much change, it’s going to affect our students,” said Herron.

The Alabama Democratic Party Primary is March 3.

For more information on Amendment One, click here.

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