Public education in Alabama

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K-12 Education in Alabama
State Superintendent: Tommy Bice
Number of students: 744,621[1]
Number of teachers: 47,723
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.6
Number of school districts: 170
Number of schools: 1,618
Graduation rate: 75%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $8,813[3]
See also
Public education in Alabama
Alabama Department of Education
Alabama school districts
List of school districts in Alabama
Alabama
The Alabama public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards members and superintendents.

The Alabama state constitution requires that the state legislature establish and maintain a public school system.[4]

School revenues, expenditures and budget

See also: Alabama state budget
Alabama's Education Trust Fund is $6.33 billion.

The state of Alabama's total state budget is divided into two parts: the General Fund, which funds everything that is not education related, and the Education Trust Fund, which funds all education functions of the state.[5] In FY 2008-2009 the state General Fund was estimated at $1.77 billion.[6] The Education Trust Fund was estimated at $6.33 billion in the same fiscal year.[7] State income tax makes up approximately 54% of the Education Trust Fund.[8]

  • In late August 2009, state board of education officials said that K-12 schools may receive about $3.5 billion in 2011, about $900 million less than in 2008.[9]
  • According to state officials revenue for education trust fund was down 9.7 percent, or $463.5 million, as of July 2009.[9]

The cost per pupil is $9,103, ranking 34th in the nation according the Census Bureau 2007-2008 report.[10]

Personnel salaries

In the 2006-2007 school year of the Alabama education staff: 2,855 teachers had six-year Doctorate Degrees, 22,418 had Master's Degree, 18,785 had Bachelor's Degrees and 762 had Alternative Baccalaureate Degrees.Alabama spent a reports $11.20 million on personnel costs in the 2006-2007 school year.[11]

Role of unions

The main union related to the Alabama school system is Alabama Education Association (AEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). For the 2003 tax period AEA had: $16.0 million in total revenue, $16.2 million in total expenses and $18.1 million in total assets.[12]

List of local Alabama school unions:[13]

Role of school boards

The State Board of Education consists of nine members. The governor serves as the president of the board. The superintendent serves as the chief executive officer.[14] The superintendent of education is elected by "qualified electors of the state" every four years.[15] Additionally, the board consists of a seven district representatives, one of which serves as vice president.[14]

There are 134 local boards of education. All are members of the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Alabama government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Alabama School Boards Association.

Transparency

Alabama Policy Institute (API), a non-profit organization, conducts research on education and transparency throughout the state. In 2007 they published a piece called, Alabama's Public Education Funding Dilemma: Does Funding Influence Outcomes?. The article focuses on drawing a connection between state funding and education progress. In terms of education progress the article analyzes dropout rates, readiness for the workforce and/or college and academic proficiency.

On February 11, 2009, Governor Bob Riley signed an Executive Order to create a state spending database.[16] The order mandated that the site, to be operated by the state Department of Finance, be up by March 1, 2009. The site was launched recently,[17] and is now available to citizens.

Reports

A 2009 study, Leaders and Laggards, conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for a Competitive Workplace, Frederick M. Hess of the conservative American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Center for American Progress, gave Alabama: "F" in academic achievement; "D" in truth in advertising about student proficiency; "B" in rigor of standards; "F" in post-secondary and workforce readiness; "B" in for its teacher workforce policies; "B" in data quality.[18]

Audits

  • In August 2009 state official's moved to revoke the certification after discovering that a convicted teacher was still receiving a salary, under the Alabama teacher tenure law, while in prison. The teacher is currently serving a 10-year term in a federal prison after being convicted of "enticing a 14-year-old-boy for sex."[19]

Academic performance

The following table outlines the number of schools that received "A," "B," "C/D," or "Not Passing" grades for the years 2004 through 2007, according to statewide Adequate Yearly Progress reports. "A" represents schools that received anywhere from 90-100% on exams, "B" represents 80-89.99%, "C/D" represents 60-79.99%, "Not Passing" represents schools that scored lower than 60%.[11]

School year Grade A Grade B Grades C/D Not Passing Total # of schools
2004-05 972 216 109 69 1,366
2005-06 1,293 43 11 17 1,364
2006-07 1,299 35 17 7 1,358

The Alabama Accountability Program sets Annual Measurable Objectives for schools and school systems. To achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward system goals, schools must score at or above the set objectives and have at least a 95% participation rate amongst students. Students are tested in reading and mathematics. A school that misses AYP in the same area for two consecutive years is identified as In Improvement.[20]

AYP results for the State of Alabama school districts are noted below. Results for individual schools within each district can be accessed through the Accountability Reporting Query System on the Alabama State Department of Education website.[21]

State of Alabama AYP Results 2009-2010[22]

District Made AYP?
State of Alabama N
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Albertville City Y
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Alexander City Y
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Andalusia City Y
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Anniston City Y
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Arab City Y
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Athens City Y
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Attalla City Y
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Auburn City Y
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Autauga County N
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Baldwin County Y
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Barbour County Y
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Bessemer City N
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Bibb County N
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Birmingham City N
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Blount County N
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Boaz City Y
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Brewton City Y
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Bullock County N
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Butler County N
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Calhoun County N
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Chambers County N
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Cherokee County Y
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Chilton County N
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Choctaw County Y
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Clarke County N
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Clay County Y
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Cleburne County Y
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Coffee County Y
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Colbert County N
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Conecuh County Y
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Coosa County Y
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Covington County Y
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Crenshaw County Y
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Cullman City Y
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Cullman County N
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Dale County Y
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Daleville City Y
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Dallas County N
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Decatur City N
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Dekalb County Y
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Demopolis City Y
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Dothan City N
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Elba City Y
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Elmore County Y
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Enterprise City Y
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Escambia County N
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Etowah County N
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Eufaula City Y
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Fairfield City N
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Fayette County Y
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Florence City N
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Fort Payne City Y
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Franklin County Y
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Gadsden City Y
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Geneva City Y
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Geneva County N
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Greene County Y
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Guntersville City Y
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Hale County N
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Haleyville City Y
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Hartselle City Y
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Henry County Y
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Homewood City Y
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Hoover City Y
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Houston County N
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Huntsville City N
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Jackson County N
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Jacksonville City Y
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Jasper City Y
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Jefferson County N
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Lamar County Y
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Lanett City Y
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Lauderdale County N
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Lawrence County N
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Lee County N
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Leeds City Y
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Limestone County N
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Linden City Y
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Lowndes County Y
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Macon County Y
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Madison City Y
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Madison County N
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Marengo County Y
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Marion County Y
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Marshall County N
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Midfield City Y
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Mobile County N
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Monroe County N
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Montgomery County N
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Morgan County N
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Mountain Brook City Y
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Muscle Shoals City Y
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Oneonta City Y
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Opelika City N
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Opp City Y
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Oxford City Y
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Ozark City Y
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Pell City N
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Perry County Y
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Phenix City N
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Pickens County Y
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Piedmont City Y
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Pike County N
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Randolph County Y
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Roanoke City Y
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Russell County N
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Russellville City Y
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Saraland City Y
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Scottsboro City Y
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Selma City N
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Sheffield City Y
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Shelby County N
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St Clair County N
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Sumter County Y
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Sylacauga City Y
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Talladega City Y
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Talladega County Y
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Tallapoosa County N
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Tallassee City Y
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Tarrant City Y
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Thomasville City Y
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Troy City Y
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Trussville City Y
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Tuscaloosa City N
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Tuscaloosa County N
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Tuscumbia City Y
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Vestavia Hills City Y
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Walker County N
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Washington County Y
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Wilcox County N
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Winfield City Y
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Winston County Y
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State of Alabama Reading Scores 2009-2010 - Percent of Students in Each Achievement Level

Grade Level I Level II Level III Level IV
3rd 0.67% 12.75% 32.55% 54.04%
4th 0.29% 13.02% 30.83% 55.86%
5th 0.72% 13.63% 31.68% 53.96%
6th 0.41% 13.45% 27.00% 59.13%
7th 0.37% 16.61% 37.07% 45.95%
8th 1.14% 25.35% 36.72% 36.79%

State Budget Solutions’ Education Study

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009-2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study shows that states that spend the most do not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor do they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. Download the full report here: Throwing Money At Education Isn’t Working.

State spending on education vs. academic performance 2012

State 2011 Total Spending[23] 2011 Education Spending[24] 2011 Percent Education Spending 2012 Total Spending[25] 2012 Education Spending[26] 2012 Percent Education Spending 2010 Avg. ACT score[27] 2011 Avg. ACT score[28] 2012 Avg. ACT score[29] 2010 Graduation Rate[30] 2011 Graduation Rate[31]
Alabama $40.5 billion $13.2 billion 32.5% $40.6 billion $13.3 billion 32.7% 20.3 20.3 20.3 67.1% 69.0%

State of Alabama Math Scores 2009-2010 - Percent of Students in Each Achievement Level

Grade Level I Level II Level III Level IV
3rd 4.34% 15.53% 29.05% 51.08%
4th 2.05% 16.69% 28.17% 53.09%
5th 0.56% 16.83% 33.20% 49.41%
6th 0.07% 22.99% 40.91% 36.03%
7th 0.03% 31.21% 39.35% 29.41%
8th 0.01% 21.37% 53.03% 25.59%

Level I - Does Not Meet Academic Content Standards.

Level II - Partially Meets Academic Content Standards.

Level III - Meets Academic Content Standards.

Level IV - Exceeds Academic Content Standards.

School choice

School choice options include:

  • Charter schools: the state of Alabama does not have a charter school law.[32]
  • Public school open enrollment: Alabama does not have an open enrollment policy.[33]
  • Online learning: Alabama has a state-sponsored program called Access Distance Learning, a 9th through 12th grade program. In the 2007-2008 school the program had approximately 18,995 course enrollments.[34]

See also

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. Alabama Constitution,"Article XIV, Section 256," retrieved September 3, 2009
  5. Political Parlor Blog,"Alabama Budget Process in a Nutshell," June 27,2007
  6. State of Alabama,"State General Fund Net Receipts FY 2003-2004 - 2008-2009," retrieved September 2, 2009
  7. State of Alabama,"Education Trust Fund Net Receipts FY 2003-2004 - 2008-2009," retrieved September 2, 2009
  8. The Hunstville Times,"More budget woes," March 18,2009
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Huntsville Times,"Schools expect more cuts," August 28, 2009
  10. Maine Watchdog, Education Spending Per Child, July 6, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Alabama Department of Education,"Annual Report: 2006-2007," retrieved September 3, 2009
  12. Center for Union Facts,"Alabama Education Association," retrieved September 2, 2009
  13. Center for Union Facts,"Alabama teachers unions," retrieved September 2, 2009
  14. 14.0 14.1 Alabama State Department of Education,"About the State Board of Education," retrieved September 3, 2009
  15. Alabama Constitution,"Article V, Section 114," retrieved September 3, 2009
  16. AL.com, "Ala. governor signs order on state spending," February 11, 2009
  17. waaytv.com, "Governor Riley’s Executive Order Lifts Veil on State Spending," March 4, 2009
  18. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute,"Alabama Education Report Card," retrieved November 16, 2009
  19. Associated Press,"Alabama teacher draws salary while in prison," August 7, 2009
  20. ‘Alabama State Department of Education’, Accountability Overview, September 2, 2010
  21. ‘Alabama State Department of Education’, Accountability Reporting Query System, September 7, 2010
  22. Alabama Department of Education, "Accountability Reporting," retrieved September 7, 2010
  23. USGovernmentSpending.com "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
  24. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1997_2017ALb_13s1li111mcn_20t USGovernmentSpending.com "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
  25. USGovernmentSpending.com "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
  26. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1997_2017ALb_13s1li111mcn_20t USGovernmentSpending.com "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
  27. 2010 ACT National and State Scores "Average Scores by State"
  28. [http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2011/states.html 2011 ACT National and State Scores " Average Scores by State"]
  29. [http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2011/states.html 2011 ACT National and State Scores " Average Scores by State"]
  30. National Center for Education Statistics
  31. National Center for Education Statistics
  32. Alabama Policy Institute,"Charter Schools," retrieved September 2, 2009
  33. Education Commission of the States," Open Enrollment: 50-State Report," retrieved September 2, 2009
  34. The Heritage Foundation,"School Choice Alabama," retrieved September 3, 2009