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August 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

School’s back in session, and there is some notable education news this month.
  • Gov Ivey Announces Bicentennial Schools: Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819. As part of the state’s preparation for next year’s bicentennial, Governor Kay Ivey announced the 200 schools that have been selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools. Ivey was joined at the announcement by superintendents, principals, teachers, students and administrators from the selected schools, along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state. The Bicentennial Schools Initiative was launched by Governor Ivey in 2017. The initiative encourages all public, private and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of statehood in 2019.
  • First Integrated School in Sumter County: When school started at the University Charter School (UCS) in Livingston, in west Alabama’s Sumter County, students in K-8 began a new era. For the first time, black students and white students are learning side-by-side in integrated public school classrooms. More than half of the school’s 300-plus students are black, while just under half are white. While not fully representative of the county’s split — 76 percent black, 24 percent white — no public school in the county has come close to reaching the percentage at UCS. The development of the program was done in conjunction with the University of West Alabama in Livingston.
  • Republican Policies Working: Congresswoman Martha Roby recently said that recent economic growth numbers are, “proof that our pro-growth policies are working.” According to Roby, our economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the fastest economic expansion in the country in nearly four years. Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District and is seeking her fifth term. She faces Democrat Tabitha Isner in the November general election.
    Congressman Robert Aderholt shares Roby’s sentiment, noting that in July, unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent. Aderholt cites this as proof that tax cuts and the Jobs Act are working. According to Aderholt, the economy is on pace to hit 3 percent annual growth, and workers’ wages are growing faster than they have in more than a decade.

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