Richardson Appeals to Alabama Supreme Court to Allow the Sale of Georgia Washington Middle School

Ed Richardson

Interim State School Supt. Ed Richardson has appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court to allow the sale of Georgia Washington Middle School by Montgomery Public Schools to the town of Pike Road. The Montgomery Co. Circuit Court has blocked the sale in an order issued March 5.  The order also involved the closing and sale of other Montgomery County school board properties pending further court review.
“The sale of the Georgia Washington facility alone will produce almost $10 million in revenue to the Montgomery System,” Richardson said in a statement. “We cannot risk losing that opportunity or the long-term benefits that will be realized through other cost-saving measures that are now on hold because of the court’s order.”
Dr. Richardson acknowledged his respect for the trial court, but expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will bring a “big picture” perspective to the issues of intervention authority and governance that are raised by the case.
Montgomery Public Schools is under state intervention because of academic and financial issues. But some Montgomery Co. school board members don’t want to sell Georgia Washington Middle School. Students at that school would have to be sent to other schools in the Montgomery system. Richardson has said that there is enough room in other schools to accommodate the students.
Pike Road wants to buy Georgia Washington Middle School in order to turn it into a school for its own school system.
“The intervention statute was intended to permit the State Superintendent to make the kind of bold, often politically difficult decisions that are necessary to get underperforming boards of education back on the right track. Intervention measures that can be undermined by entrenched political interests or judicial second-guessing are doomed from the start. Our hope is that the Supreme Court will interpret the statute in a way that will permit the intervention process to work as the Legislature intended it to.”
Because of the critical time involved, expedited review of the appeal is being sought.


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