Let’s re-visit today’s state board of education meeting where Michael Sentence of Massachusetts was selected to be Alabama’s next state school chief.
Since the governor is chairman of the board by virtue of his office, he chaired the meeting. The selection got off to a rocky start as there was disagreement as to the process to be followed. The governor said that ballots had been prepared with the names of all six finalists listed and that board members would mark their ballot and they would be tabulated. He was quickly reminded by Stephanie Bell that votes had to be public and by a show of hands.
This was agreed to. (I had asked several board members multiple times about the process and each time was told that they could not find out. Little things such as this causes you to wonder who is running the train.)
Since there are nine members of the board (eight elected and the governor), five votes was the magic number.
Betty Peters first nominated Bill Evers of Stanford University. This was seconded and voted on. Peters and Stephanie Bell voted for him.
Matt Brown nominated Michael Sentance. After a second, Brown, Betty Peters, Stephanie Bell and Mary Scott Hunter voted for him.
Jeff Newman nominated Craig Pouncey. There was a second and Newman, Ella Bell, Stephanie Bell and Yvette Richardson voted for him.
Mary Scott Hunter nominated Dee Fowler. This was seconded and only Hunter voted for him.
Cynthia McCarty nominated Janet Womack. After being seconded, McCarty and Mary Scott Hunter voted for her.
The governor nominated Jeana Ross. This was seconded and she got votes from the governor, Cynthia McCarty and Mary Scott Hunter.
I suppose you can call this the end of round one as all six candidates were nominated and voted on, with none receiving a majority.
Mary Scott Hunter then nominated Michael Sentence. After a second, the governor, Hunter, Matt Brown, Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters voted for him.
A few moments later, superintendents began leaving the room, each looking as if they had just seen a ghost.
All state board meetings can be viewed by going to this link. However, as of 9:30 p.m. August 11 the meeting in question is not yet available.