For the first time, state education officials released the “failing” schools list on Nov. 1 as required by law.
This year, there are 74 schools in 28 school districts plus one public charter school on the “failing” school list. Last year, there were 76 schools in 27 districts.
The Alabama Accountability Act, passed in 2013, requires the bottom 6% of schools, as measured by the percentage of students who are proficient on the standardized test taken the previous spring, to be labeled as “failing.”
Birmingham City Schools has the most schools on the list, with 16, down from 20 last year. Montgomery County has 11 schools on the list, up from 10. Mobile County has seven, two fewer than last year, and Huntsville City has two, down one from three last year. Jefferson County has one school on the list.
“We are working to do better,” Montgomery’s Chief Academic Officer Bernard Mitchell said in a press release. “We are so excited that we are making progress on our state report card numbers, and we are expecting to perform better in academic achievement as well.”
Students in “failing” schools must be notified and given a list of four choices for the 2020-21 school year: stay in the school, transfer to a non-failing school within the same school district (transportation must be provided for the district), transfer to a neighboring public school district (if they’ll accept the student), or enroll in a private or home school.
This list differs in part from schools that earned F’s on the 2019 education report card. The report card is based on multiple factors, while the “failing” schools list is based on only the achievement test.
The state’s first public charter school, ACCEL Academy in Mobile, is on the list this year and earned a 59, an “F”, on the 2019 report card. The school’s focus is to re-engage students who are at risk of dropping out of school and who have already dropped out.
To help students leave failing schools, state law allows parents a credit against their income tax for the cost to move the student along with the cost of tuition, up to 80 percent of what the state pays to educate the student in a public school.
If a student is enrolled in and then leaves a “failing” school for a private school and the parent of the student is eligible for an claims a tax credit, 20 percent of the state funding for that student is then allocated to the “failing” public school the following year. That doesn’t amount to much, though, because so few parents are eligible to claim the credit.
For students who are in families with low income who choose a private school, state law allows nonprofit organizations to provide scholarships to pay the cost of the private school. They’re commonly referred to as tax-credit scholarships because those scholarship funds come from donors who can take a credit against their income tax liability for the amount of their donation, up to a limit defined by law.
Originally billed as a way to help students escape “failing” public schools, state lawmakers re-branded the Alabama Accountability Act as a school choice program in 2015, more accurately matching how the program is being used.
Each year, only about a third of recipients have been zoned to attend a currently-labeled “failing” school, records show.
Here is the full list.
|School district||School name|
|Acceleration Day and Evening Academy||Acceleration Day and Evening Academy|
|Barbour County||Barbour County High School|
|Barbour County||Barbour County Intermediate School|
|Bessemer City||Abrams Elementary School|
|Bessemer City||Bessemer City High School|
|Birmingham City||Bush Hills STEAM Academy (formerly Bush Hills Academy)|
|Birmingham City||Charles A Brown Elementary School|
|Birmingham City||George Washington Carver High School|
|Birmingham City||Green Acres Middle School|
|Birmingham City||Hayes K-8|
|Birmingham City||Hemphill Elementary School|
|Birmingham City||Hudson K-Eight School|
|Birmingham City||Huffman High School-Magnet|
|Birmingham City||Jackson-Olin High School|
|Birmingham City||WE Putnam Middle School-Magnet|
|Birmingham City||Smith Middle School|
|Birmingham City||Washington Elementary School|
|Birmingham City||Jones Valley Middle School|
|Birmingham City||Wenonah High School|
|Birmingham City||West End Academy|
|Birmingham City||Woodlawn High School-Magnet|
|Bullock County||South Highlands Middle School|
|Bullock County||Bullock County High School|
|Chambers County||Lafayette High School|
|Chambers County||John P Powell Middle School|
|Chickasaw City||Chickasaw Middle School|
|Chickasaw City||Chickasaw City High School|
|Choctaw County||Choctaw County High School|
|Conecuh County||Hillcrest High School|
|Dallas County||Keith Middle-High School|
|Dallas County||Southside High School|
|Dallas County||Tipton Durant Middle School|
|Dothan City||Girard Primary School (formerly Girard Elementary School)|
|Escambia County||Escambia County High School|
|Fairfield City||Fairfield High Preparatory School|
|Greene County||Greene County High School|
|Greene County||Robert Brown Middle School|
|Huntsville City||Martin Luther King Jr Elementary School|
|Huntsville City||Ronald McNair 7-8|
|Jefferson County||Center Point High School|
|Lawrence County||R A Hubbard High School|
|Linden City||George P Austin Junior High School|
|Linden City||Linden High School|
|Lowndes County||Calhoun High School|
|Lowndes County||Central High School|
|Midfield City||Midfield High School|
|Mobile County||Ben C Rain High School|
|Mobile County||Mattie T Blount High School|
|Mobile County||Calloway Smith Middle School|
|Mobile County||Pillans Middle School|
|Mobile County||John L Leflore Magnet School|
|Mobile County||Chastang-Fournier Middle School|
|Mobile County||Lillie B Williamson High School|
|Monroe County||J F Shields High School|
|Montgomery County||Bellingrath Middle School|
|Montgomery County||Capitol Heights Middle School|
|Montgomery County||Davis Elementary School|
|Montgomery County||Dunbar-Ramer School|
|Montgomery County||Goodwyn Middle School|
|Montgomery County||Highland Gardens Elementary School|
|Montgomery County||Jefferson Davis High School|
|Montgomery County||Lanier Senior High School|
|Montgomery County||Lee High School|
|Montgomery County||Nixon Elementary School|
|Montgomery County||Southlawn Middle School|
|Pickens County||Aliceville High School|
|Selma City||Selma High School|
|Selma City||R. B. Hudson STEAM Academy (formerly R.B.Hudson Middle School)|
|Talladega City||Talladega High School|
|Tarrant City||Tarrant High School|
|Tuscaloosa City||Westlawn Middle School|
|Wilcox County||ABC Elementary|
|Wilcox County||J E Hobbs Elementary School|
|Wilcox County||Wilcox Central High School|
|Wilcox County||Camden School Of Arts & Technology|
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