Embattled state school chief Mike Sentance submitted a letter of resignation to the state school board and Governor Kay Ivey today (Sept. 13, 2017). Ironically this comes one year and a day after he took office Sept. 12, 2016..
The state school board has a regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 14 and one agenda item is discussion of Sentance’s contract. It has been widely felt that there were at least six solid votes (of the eight elected board members) to terminate him. Instead, they will now vote as to whether or not to accept the letter of resignation.
Earlier today Sentance sent the following to all ALSDE employees:
“To my colleagues in the Alabama State Department of Education,
As you may have heard, this is my last day working as the State Superintendent of Education. I have resigned this position.
I have enjoyed my work with you. The task of supporting educators and staff in this state is too often thankless as the demands are constant. However, I have admired your commitment to this work and to the children of Alabama. So I thank you for your diligence and perseverance. It is truly God’s work to improve the lives of children.
Shortly after the email, ALSDE sent out this press release:
“Montgomery, Ala. – Alabama State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance has officially submitted his letter of resignation to the Alabama State Board of Education and to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. After one year at the helm of the state’s education system, Sentance said his experience in Alabama has been incredible in many ways, not the least of which is getting to know the educators and administrators who care so much for children.
“I am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to serve as state superintendent in Alabama,” Sentance said. “There are many good things happening in public education in this state. My hope is that Alabama makes educating all children the state’s highest priority, allowing the state to make significant educational gains and truly becoming the jewel of the south that it has the ability to become.”
Prior to coming to Alabama, Sentance worked as an education consultant and has worked with state, federal, local officials, and advocacy groups on strategies to improve public education. He has also served as the Secretary of Education in Massachusetts, as the Senior Education Advisor to Massachusetts Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci, and in a senior-level position for the U.S. Department of Education.
Sentance’s resignation is effective immediately. Succession plans have not yet been determined, however they may be discussed at tomorrow’s regularly scheduled State Board of Education meeting.”