Montgomery, Ala., Mayor Todd Strange’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes up to $200,000 in funding to create a city school system.
WSFA-TV reports that if the Montgomery City Council approves the request, the money would be used for an educational consultant to explore the viability of a city school district.
“We will go and find some attorneys and financial people to evaluate the process about what it takes legally and financially to have our own city school system,” Strange says.
That consultant would consider all aspects of a new school system, including advising the city on separating assets from the county.
“At a minimum, it would take you two, probably more realistically four years to move from where we are today to start a city school system,” Strange estimates.
State officials have launched an intervention to take over the Montgomery County district’s failing schools. The proposed city funding would put a framework in place to take over the school district should the state give the city control of the school system when the intervention is complete. Strange is an advocate of the intervention and hopes that it will continue.
Strange believes a city system would be good for business. Unrest in the school district has been a detractor for economic growth, the mayor says.
Logistically and financially, many unknowns would accompany creating a city district. It would have to address what to do about four schools that are not inside city limits.
If the budget passes with the funding in place, Strange would seek to create an advisory committee to work alongside the consultants and local residents to make this school system a reality.