Parent suggests mayor should appoint school board

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Failing AYP scores and students are moving out. A parent, Charlie Williams, Jr., says these are signs the Birmingham's school system is failing.

He says the school board is failing also.

"Our drop out rate has increased. Our graduation rate has decreased. I know the majority of the people on the board, and I think they're good people," Williams says.  "But as board members, they've lost their way."

So Williams, who has three daughters in three different Birmingham schools, says things need to change.  His suggestion is to allowing the mayor appoint board members as opposed to having the public.

He asks parents to sign a petition in support of his effort.  "I would think no mayor would want a legacy of failed education in Birmingham because you fail the child, you fail the city of Birmingham."

The president of the Birmingham School Board, W.J. Maye,  says allowing the mayor to get involved would be the wrong move. "If the mayor appoints the board, who makes the decisions?  The mayor," Maye says.  "If elected, it can be an autonomous board and they can decide what's best for the board and what's best for the children. If they mayor appoints, he can dictate."

Brosia Jones has a granddaughter in the Birmingham school system and says allowing the mayor to appoint the board who take away the peoples' right to vote.  But Williams says they've already spoken.  "People are showing us their vote as they walk their kids out of the school system. We need to do something different."

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