State education officials today released a list of 78 public schools that are failing under the Alabama Accountability Act. The new law will allow parents with students in those schools to receive tax credits if they want to transfer their children to private academies or public schools that aren't considered failing. State Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice has previously voiced misgivings about the formula being used to identify 'failing schools,' but says the new law could prove to be a springboard for improvement. The list includes many schools from the state's Black Belt region and city or county systems around Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery. Dr. Bice says it will likely be early August before it is known how many students will be taking advantage of the new law.
Alabama state employees are going to get their first pay raises in five years. Governor Robert Bentley says he plans to reinstate merit raises starting January 1st. State workers got their last merit raises and cost-of-living raises in 2008. The governor signed a letter saying state employees have been asked to do more with less for several years and it's time to resume merit raises.
The office of Montgomery City Investigations has launched an internal probe into allegations made by a woman arrested for prostitution. The inquiry centers around statements made by a 22-year-old woman after she was arrested May 31st at a Montgomery hotel. The City Public Safety Department declined to discuss the allegations or the investigation.