State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice had only recently taken the head spot when I realized the wealth of information that could be gleaned from attending State Board of Education (SBOE) Work Sessions and Meetings. I was impressed with the candid nature of discussions among state board members and state department personnel, having heard very little public discussion of important issues during my local board of education meetings. Attending or viewing these meetings online is a must for anyone interested in K-12 public education in Alabama.
The meeting schedule for the SBOE until now has been as follows: the Meeting was held on the second Thursday of the month, and the Work Session was held on the fourth Thursday of the month. In July and December, combined meetings and work sessions were held.
But the SBOE governs not only K-12 public education, but also postsecondary, which includes 2-year colleges and technical schools. The SBOE meets in a different place to deliberate postsecondary matters on the same days, but reverses the meeting types: the Work Session was held on the second Thursday of the month, and the Meeting was held on the fourth Thursday of the month. The July meeting is combined with the K-12 meeting as required by law in order to elect a President and Vice President of the SBOE.
At the November work session (beginning at 49 minutes, 45 seconds), Bice proposed a new schedule of meetings for K-12. He and Dr. Mark Heinrich, chancellor of the postsecondary system, want to try holding the K-12 and postsecondary Meetings back-to-back in the afternoon on the second Wednesday of the month, with Work Sessions for each to be held back-to-back the following Thursday morning.
Bice’s reason for changing the dates is to allow for more time between the introduction of material at the work session and the actual vote to give the SBOE “the opportunity to vet things more broadly across the state”.
Having SBOE members in Montgomery during the legislative session (it starts January 14th!) on Wednesday evenings will allow SBOE members to better participate during the session. Bice added they are considering holding SBOE meetings in various places across the state once each quarter beginning in 2014.
Meetings and Work Sessions will continue to be streamed on Ustream.
Here’s the K-12 schedule. Beginning in January, the Meeting will be held on the second Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., and the Work Session will be held the following day, Thursday, at
8:30 a.m 10:30 a.m. (updated January 6, 2014). The next K-12 Meeting/Work Session will be held December 12 as previously scheduled.
Mark your calendars accordingly.
Just for fun, here’s the latest organizational chart from the ALSDE website. Previous charts had names attached. This one doesn’t.