Lawmaker Wants To Keep Private And Public Schools Separate


By Alabama News Network

One state lawmaker is looking to keep the State Board of Education out of private schools after some confusion over the summer. 

The new bill, sponsored by Dick Brewbaker, looks to clarify just what the state can and cannot do when it comes to regulating private schools. 

The State Board of Education only has so much control over private schools in Alabama.

And State Senator Dick Brewbaker says that board tried to take even more control in 2013, like requiring home schools to report more information to the state.

"Last summer there was an attempt by the state school board to essentially regulate non-public schools, including home schools and christian schools," said Sen. Brewbaker. 

But State superintendent Tommy Bice says the board was trying to do the opposite of that so it could be less involved. 

"We have a code that talks about how private schools register with us and we do that not with us trying to run their school or run their curriculum or what's taught in their curriculum. That has never been the case. But we were trying to clear up our code which actually had some over reach in it," said Bice.

Senator Brewbaker's bill looks to take that initiative and clarify the relationship between public and private schools.

"The goal of the bill is to ensure the independence of both. So that private schools, whether their christian or secular, can operate in ways they see fit. And that public schools can operate in the way they choose to," said Sen. Brewbaker. 

And the Alabama Independent School Association actually believes that this whole process has been for the best, with everyone working together.

"It's been a great process. What it's done is open lines of communication not only through the legislative branch and senator brewbaker's office but with the state department of education, independent schools, and one of the things the state department has asked for is an advisory committee of independent schools and I think it's going to come to fruition," said Randy Skipper, executive director of the organization.

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