Jun 20, 2013
Alabama Accountability Act Having Minimal Impact On Transfers

Maybe the Alabama Accountability Act won’t lead to mass transfers by high school athletes this summer.

At least that’s the initial reaction when perusing the list of 78 “failing schools” released June 18 by the state Department of Education.

The Alabama Accountability Act, the controversial school-choice bill approved earlier this year by the Legislature, provides tax credits – estimated to be $3, 500 for each child annually – for families at failing schools to offset the cost of tuition at a private school or a non-failing public school.

The law’s passage in February sparked heated debate – on Goat Hill and throughout the state – but those in high school sports circles wondered how it might impact high school sports.

Would it allow private schools, including many in urban centers with multiple high-poverty high schools, to raid established public school programs for the best athletes, with the tax credit as a new enticement? Would suburban schools that have enjoyed widespread athletic success in recent years become a viable public-school alternative for elite athletes who might want to leave a high-poverty school?

Those fears appear unfounded, at least for now.

The “failing schools” list includes less than 20 high schools, with none from metro Mobile, only two from metro Birmingham (Center Point and Midfield) and two from metro Huntsville (Butler and J.O. Johnson). The state’s other metro areas – Tuscaloosa, Anniston/Gadsden, the Shoals and Dothan – also escaped with few high schools on the list.

Middle schools dominated the list, so it’s possible that private schools or “succeeding” public schools could entice the best of those athletes with the tax credit. Any high school athletic benefit likely wouldn’t be realized for several years.

Of the high schools on the “failing schools” list, a majority are in rural, Black Belt communities with an established, small, private academy that often attracts white students. That could allow a higher volume of transfers to those private schools, most of which are members of the Alabama Independent Schools Association.

Alabama Accountability Act Having Minimal Impact On Transfers

AL.com

http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/321004079593250134/alabama-accountability-act-may-have-smaller-impact-that-initially-believed-for-high-school-athletics-josh-bean/

Maybe the Alabama Accountability Act won’t lead to mass transfers by high school athletes this summer.

At least that’s the initial reaction when perusing the list of 78 “failing schools” released June 18 by the state Department of Education.

The Alabama Accountability Act, the controversial school-choice bill approved earlier this year by the Legislature, provides tax credits – estimated to be $3, 500 for each child annually – for families at failing schools to offset the cost of tuition at a private school or a non-failing public school.

The law’s passage in February sparked heated debate – on Goat Hill and throughout the state – but those in high school sports circles wondered how it might impact high school sports.

Would it allow private schools, including many in urban centers with multiple high-poverty high schools, to raid established public school programs for the best athletes, with the tax credit as a new enticement? Would suburban schools that have enjoyed widespread athletic success in recent years become a viable public-school alternative for elite athletes who might want to leave a high-poverty school?

Those fears appear unfounded, at least for now.

The “failing schools” list includes less than 20 high schools, with none from metro Mobile, only two from metro Birmingham (Center Point and Midfield) and two from metro Huntsville (Butler and J.O. Johnson). The state’s other metro areas – Tuscaloosa, Anniston/Gadsden, the Shoals and Dothan – also escaped with few high schools on the list.

Middle schools dominated the list, so it’s possible that private schools or “succeeding” public schools could entice the best of those athletes with the tax credit. Any high school athletic benefit likely wouldn’t be realized for several years.

Of the high schools on the “failing schools” list, a majority are in rural, Black Belt communities with an established, small, private academy that often attracts white students. That could allow a higher volume of transfers to those private schools, most of which are members of the Alabama Independent Schools Association.






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