Alabama's public schools aren't seeing an exodus of students taking advantage of private school tax credits.
State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice told the state school board Thursday that preliminary survey data shows 51 students have used the new Alabama Accountability Act to transfer from a failing public school to a private school.
He told AL.com that not all school systems have responded to a department survey, but he doesn't expect the figure to increase much because the state's largest systems have responded.
Alabama Power Co. is trying to stop what it calls "an unusually effective scam."
The power company says its customers have been called for months by people pretending to be from Alabama Power. The customers are told they have a short deadline to make a payment. They are instructed to go to a local retailer, buy a reloadable debit card for a given amount, and then call another phone number to share the account number on the card. Alabama Power says the fraud has focused on commercial customers because they are more likely to have larger bills.
A Jefferson County minister is running for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary against incumbent Kay Ivey.
Stan Cooke announced his candidacy Tuesday in Montgomery. Cooke is pastor of the Kimberly Church of God and is founder and president of a Christian mission organization that supports programs in Israel. He previously ran in the 6th Congressional District in 2010 against Republican Spencer Bachus.
Alabama had the second lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast in July.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Virginia's rate of 5.7 percent was lower than Alabama's rate of 6.3 percent. The bureau also reports that Alabama had one of the nation's biggest drops in unemployment from a year ago, when Alabama's rate measured 7.6 percent. Only seven states exceeded Alabama's drop of 1.3 percentage points over the last year.
Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act is designed to help students in all public schools.
The governor spoke out Monday after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal court suit seeking to block the law. The suit says some impoverished students can't access part of the law providing tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools to private schools.
Bentley says another portion of the law gives those failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve.
A northern Alabama community college plans to transition from traditional textbooks and offer students more digitally-based education opportunities.
Calhoun Community College president Marilyn Beck told the Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/15Wd7kU ) 32 courses at the community college will focus on tablet and e-book education materials and students will still have the option to purchase textbooks.
A three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold 15 hearings in Montgomery next week, the latest in the court's practice of holding hearings across the southeast.
At least four of the hearings to be held Tuesday through Friday involve Alabama cases.
One of the hearings set for Wednesday is regarding an issue that is part of a lawsuit challenging a state law that prohibits the Alabama Education Association and the Alabama State Employees Association from using automatic payroll deduction to collect dues from workers.