AL State School Board member pushes back against board appointment amendment

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Next year, Alabama voters decide whether they will continue to elect State School Board members. A constitutional amendment on the ballot could change the board of education to appointed positions rather than elected officials. State School Board Member Jackie Zeigler campaigns not just for reelection but to make sure she and others can be elected.

“I question whenever anyone tries to take away the vote of the people,” Zeigler said. She’s already started a social media campaign against Amendment One. Zeigler argues elected board members are more responsive to the people and communities they were elected to serve.

“If they want to get rid of me, let them do it at the ballot box and they can bring in someone else,” Zeigler said. Constitutional Amendment One would change the board to appointed positions as members end their terms, but she argues you wouldn’t know that reading the amendment.

“Sometimes a yes vote is a no and a no vote is a yes so with the wording of it, it just doesn’t clarify the intent,” Zeigler said. She’s also filed a complaint with the Alabama Fair Ballot Commission and Alabama Secretary of State’s office pushing for more direct language so voters understand the potential change. Zeigler argues the vote makes board members accountable

“They met us, they understand us, they know from where we came it was their desire to put us in that place because they’ve known us and they trust us otherwise they would have elected someone else,” Zeigler said.

Gov. Kay Ivey supports changing the state school board to appointed positions. According to published reports, she argues the state is often listed at the bottom of most education rankings and they need a new system to do better.

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