Alabama Superintendent of Education

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 16:09, 29 March 2013 by Gtjanetka (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Alabama Superintendent of Education
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $192,196,130
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the Alabama Board of Education
Authority:  Code of Alabama, Section 16-4-1
Selection Method:  Appointed by Alabama Board of Education
Current Officeholder

Tommy Bice.jpg
Name:  Tommy Bice
Assumed office:  November 2011
Compensation:  $190,000
Other Alabama Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Alabama Superintendent of Education is a state executive position in the Alabama government. The superintendent is the chief executive officer of the state Department of Education and exercises "general control and supervision over the public schools of the state."[1]

Current officeholder

The current superintendent is Tommy Bice. He replaced Joseph B. Morton who had served since July 13, 2004. Morton announced his retirement in June, 2011.[2]

Bice was serving as Deputy Alabama school superintendent when he was selected by the state school board on November 10, 2011.[3]


The office of superintendent is authorized by Section 16-4-1 of the Code of Alabama.[4]

Code of Alabama, Section 16-4-1

As the chief executive officer of the State Department of Education there shall be a State Superintendent of Education, who shall be appointed by the State Board of Education and shall serve at the pleasure of the State Board of Education; provided, however that the State Board of Education may enter into a contract with the State Superintendent of Education for his services for a period not to exceed four years.


Alabama law requires that the superintendent be a person of "good moral character" with a college education who is knowledgeable in school administration.[4]

Code of Alabama, Section 16-4-1

The Superintendent of Education shall be a person of good moral character, with academic and professional education equivalent to graduation from a standard university or college, who is knowledgeable in school administration and has training and experience sufficient to qualify him to perform the duties of his office.


The superintendent is appointed by the state Board of Education and serves at its pleasure.[4]

Term limits

Alabama law does not prescribe any particular term limits for the superintendent, though the Board of Education may only offer officeholders a four year contract. Thus, an incumbent must effectively be reviewed and reappointed every four years.


Article V, Section 136 of the Alabama Constitution requires the governor to appoint a replacement if the office of superintendent becomes vacant or if the incumbent "shall become of unsound mind." The replacement serves until the next scheduled election.[5]

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 136'

Should the office of attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, or commissioner of agriculture and industries become vacant from any cause, the governor shall fill such vacancy until the disability is removed or a successor elected and qualified. In case any of said officers shall become of unsound mind, such unsoundness shall be ascertained by the supreme court upon the suggestion of the governor.


The superintendent's statutory duties are to "explain the true intent and meaning of the school laws," and "decide... all controversies and disputes involving the proper administration of the public school system."[6] Alabama law also requires the superintendent to enforce rules made by the Alabama Board of Education.

His or her office also fulfills myriad administrative duties for the Department of Education; it distributes state funds to local school boards, executes school policy as determined by the state Board of Education, conducts conferences of state or local educational officials, and establishes regulations for school buildings. The superintendent also prepares budgets for the Department, performs a census of Alabama students every ten years, and establishes criteria for evaluating the performance of different schools.[7]

Click here to view larger-scale image of the Alabama Department of Education Organizational Chart as of May 7, 2012.


The Alabama Department of Education, which the superintendent oversees, includes a variety of divisions. Some serve general administrative functions, others enact specific educational policies, e.g. an initiative to improve students' reading ability.

  • Alabama Reading Initiative
  • Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative
  • Alabama State Personnel Development Grant
  • Assessment and Accountability
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Child Nutrition
  • Classroom Improvement
  • Communication
  • Coordinated School Health Program
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Data Collection
  • Driver Education
  • EDUCATEAlabama & LEADAlabama
  • Federal Programs
  • Information Systems
  • LEA Compliance Review
  • LEA Financial Assistance
  • LEA Funding And Accountability
  • LEA Support Roundtable (SRT)
  • Leadership and Evaluation
  • Legislative Services
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Prevention & Support Services
  • Pupil Transportation
  • School Architect & School Facilities
  • SDE Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Education & Certification
  • Technology Initiatives
  • Training & Assessment

State budget

The budget for the Alabama Department of Education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $192,196,130.[8]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Alabama superintendent of education was paid an estimated $190,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments. The salary of the state superintendent is determined by the Board of Education as is paid out of its appropriation.

Code of Alabama, Section 16-4-1:

The salary of the State Superintendent of Education shall be such amount per annum as shall be set by the State Board of Education in an amount within the range now or hereafter established by law, to be paid in installments from the annual appropriation of the State Department of Education.

Contact info


Physical address:
5114 Gordon Persons Building
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

Mailing address:
PO Box 302101
Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone: 334-242-9700
Fax: 334-242-9708

See also

External links