UPDATED WITH PRESS RELEASE. Superintendent of Alabama Schools Resigns
Posted by: Sandra Walden
Date: Sep 13 2017 1:17 PM
Beleaguered Alabama superintendent Michael Sentance has resigned, ending a months-long battle with state board of education members.
Sentance confirmed with AL.com an agreement was reached to end his employment as superintendent. "Not much to say," Sentance responded when asked for comment. Sentance said he met with senior staff at 10:15 Wednesday morning.
Reaching the agreement allowed Sentance to avoid an expected vote to fire him at Thursday's regular board meeting.
Details of the agreement are not yet known, but today is Sentance's final day of employment.
In his short tenure, Sentance has started many projects, including penning a new strategic plan called Alabama Ascending and positioning Alabama to create its own state test to measure academic achievement.
But his proposals have met resistance.
And board members have not been shy about their criticisms, with most of their concern focused on Sentance's self-admitted lack of communication skills.
Most recently, Sentance came under fire for a possible budget deficit the department could be facing.
Board member Mary Scott Hunter, R-Huntsville, supported Sentance, but said, "This is the right resolution. I appreciate the Governor's office working that out with him."
"A negotiated settlement that ends his employment saves taxpayers money and more importantly keeps the focus on students."
"Sentance's departure is a good time to self-reflect and see what part the board and the department have played in not meeting the needs of school systems," she said.
Hunter expects the board to name an interim superintendent at tomorrow's meeting.
UPDATED WITH GOVERNOR IVEY'S PRESS RELEASR
MONTGOMERY – Earlier today, State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance submitted his resignation to Governor Kay Ivey, as President of the Board of Education. Shortly thereafter, Governor Ivey released the following statement.
“Today, I received the resignation of State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance. I do not take this situation lightly, and as President of the State Board of Education, I will ask the Board to accept his resignation.
“Over the past two years, Alabama has experienced far too many changes in state government. As with previous changes in leadership positions, we will use the pending resignation of the state superintendent as an opportunity to move forward and begin a new chapter in public education.
“The State Board of Education has an opportunity to refocus its efforts to improve, support, and better prepare Alabama students for the 21st-Century global economy, so that they can compete successfully. Education continues to be the foundation of our communities and a key piece of the fabric that holds our state together — now is the time to strengthen our education system.
“I have spoken with Mr. Sentance, thanked him for his commitment to public service and education, and wished him well.”