BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Orange Beach City Board of Education board has entered a separation agreement with Baldwin County Schools. 

Starting July 1, Orange Beach City Schools will take over the administration and supervision of schools within the city limit. Under the separation agreement, both school boards will work together to help students with the new transition. Here’s what you need to know about the split.

What if I live in Baldwin Co. but my child goes to an Orange Beach school? What if it’s the other way around?

All students who are “registered to attend Orange Beach Schools as of July 1, 2022,” will have the choice to attend a school within the city limits, according to the agreement.

Orange Beach students attending the South Baldwin Center for Technology and Aviation Center will be able to stay through graduation in May of 2024. Orange Beach students attending an IEP program in Baldwin Co. will be able to stay in the program for one year.   

Transportation for Baldwin Co. and Orange Beach students

As far as transportation goes, Baldwin County will allocate school buses to Orange Beach City Schools. Students living outside the city zone will ride Baldwin County buses and city students will ride the newly allocated buses. 

Funding

Baldwin County Schools will not be affected by the separation agreement. Funding for city schools for 2023 will come from enrollment numbers from the 2021 to 2022 Average Daily Membership Report. For 2024, funding will depend on prior year of attendance. Funding will be determined by the State Department of Education policy.

What schools with the City Board take over? 

Once Baldwin County has been paid an agreed amount for school properties, the county board will hand over access, ownership and titles to Orange Beach City Schools:

  • Orange Beach Middle and High School Complex (grades 7 through 12) and Performing Arts Center ($32,410,238)
  • Orange Beach Elementary School (grades Pre K through 6) ($3,093,710.99). The city board will also take on debt and repayment of $35,914 and $2,516,743.79 for “construction and facility improvements” to the school, according to the agreement.

Will current staff and teachers still work at Orange Beach schools?

Staff who want to work for Baldwin County will have to request a transfer to another county school before July 1. Transfers will have to be approved by the county board. Staff who do not transfer can still work at the schools. They will work under the city board starting July 1.

Will salaries stay the same for teachers and staff?

Baldwin County schools will continue to pay salaried staff and teachers until Aug. 31, 2022. Starting Sept. 1, 2022, Orange Beach City Schools will take over pay for school employees. 

Employees will not be paid less than what they are currently being paid for the 2021 to 2022 year. Although Baldwin County will pay employees till Aug. 31, payroll will be handled by Orange Beach City schools starting July 1.

Itinerant teachers and support staff who work at both county and city schools after the 2021 to 2022 year, will still be employed by Baldwin County schools unless they are hired on by Orange Beach City Schools.

Itinerant teachers and support staff who only work at Orange Beach Schools after the 2021 to 2022 year, will be hired on by the city board. Itinerant teachers and staff will be rehired or hired as long as their contract isn’t terminated or non-renewed, according to the agreement. 

Will Orange Beach City Schools have to buy new equipment and teaching materials?

Teaching material and equipment currently owned by Baldwin County Schools will be bought by the city board including:

  • Furniture
  • Equipment
  • Materials
  • Supplies (including textbooks)
  • Technology resources
  • Student and teacher laptops/computers
  • Inventory
  • Athletic equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Supplies 

Equipment used by students in the IEP program for the 2022 to 2023 school year will become property of either board depending on where they go to school, according to the separation agreement. 

Networking, equipment, wiring, point of sale and access equipment will be left in place for the incoming city board. Point of sale, routers and network equipment will be reset to factory settings before June 30. 

Student computers will also be reset, according to the agreement. Staff and teacher Macbooks will be kept by Baldwin County schools. The city board can buy them at $600 per device, according to the agreement.