Jan 17, 2014

Despite objections from conservative groups, the Alabama Board of Education accepted a state textbook committee's recommendations for social studies books to be used in public schools.  The Eagle Forum of Alabama and ACT! for America had asked for the board to remove 11 books from the recommended list of 500.  Voting in the minority, State School Board member Stephanie Bell agreed with those groups that the books didn't treat different religions fairly.  Schools Superintendent of Alabama Dr. Tommy Bice said he listened to both sides of the issue and decided to go with the committee's recommendation.  The list now goes to local school board for review. 

Selma City School

A notice of intervention was approved for the Selma City School System.  That means Selma school officials will need to come before the board and explain why intervention wouldn't be necessary.  School Superintendent of Alabama Tommy Bice says he made the recommendation even though he has received a plan of action from Selma City Schools.  An investigation into sexual misconduct by a teacher at Selma High School as well as academic issues led to the board's action. Selma officials can offer a response at the next board meeting February 12th in Montgomery. 

Trade Missions

Alabama officials are planning trade missions to three continents this year.  State Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said his department and the Export Alabama Alliance are putting together trade missions to South America, Southeast Asia and Europe.  He said the trips are focused on connecting Alabama businesses and organizations with opportunities to work with companies in countries visited.  He said past trade missions have helped Alabama grow economically.