BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - “I think the mayor was honest and very upfront with us from the beginning and communicated in a very productive way with us about what his priorities were,” says Mickey Millsap.
Those priorities being a new program providing paid internships, dual enrollment, and scholarships for high school students, called the Promise Education Initiative.
“And so, what we’re supporting is workforce development and education for our children,” says Mayor Randall Woodfin.
But that does mean taking $2 million away from the school board to put into a special fund. However, board member Mickey Millsap isn’t too worried about filling the gap.
“There is a 10-mill expenditure tax that Birmingham City Schools gets a portion of the revenue from. Through Dr. Carpenter’s department in economic development, we’re already seeing that that’s going to increase by about $2 million this year,” says Millsap.
Still, the money is going into shaping the workers and leaders of the future.
“These apprenticeships are for the jobs of tomorrow. We’re talking about business, finance, digital technology, healthcare, these are the things that we want to expose our kids to but don’t always have the resources for,” says Millsap.
These are discretionary funds, the city technically has the right to decide where to spend it. Millsap says the funding the board gets from the city accounts for less than 1% of their total budget.