The Dothan Eagle put in a plug for the forum the Southeast Alabama League of Women Voters held Sunday afternoon, Feb. 9. They urged locals to turn out to learn more. (I was honored to be one of the two presenters.)
However, the newspaper made no bones about the fact they have reservations about this amendment.
“Alabama voters have a complicated relationship with constitutional amendment referendums that turn up on their ballots on Election Day. There’s usually little in the way of voter awareness publicity, and the questions themselves are written in clunky government-ese that leaves many voters scratching their heads.
On March 3, there’s an important referendum — Amendment 1, which would change the makeup of the state’s board of education by seating board members by appointment.
There’s no doubt that public education in Alabama needs constructive change, and that drastic measures might be necessary.
However, Amendment 1’s first step would disenfranchise voters who elect state school board members by replacing election with appointment by the governor alone. The appointments would then go to the state Senate for confirmation. That’s a recipe for disaster, inviting cronyism, political favoritism or worse.
Today, state school board members are accountable to voters. Should Amendment 1 pass, that panel will be beholden to a single politician.”