Henry Mabry has officially stepped down as the head of the Alabama Education Association.
His resignation comes after the AEA board voted back in February to terminate Mabry after an audit raised concerns about his financial management of the organization.
Mabry replaced longtime AEA head Paul Hubbert in 2011. It was Hubbert who built the education organization into a massive political powerhouse. Hubbert expressed some grave concerns about the AEA's fiscal health before he passed away last year.
The Alabama Republican Party has a new leader. Voters elected Terry Lathan of Mobile as chairwoman of the state party.
Lathan is a former schoolteacher and has worked 35 years in various leadership positions in the Mobile County GOP and the state executive committee. She defeated former state representative Mary Sue McClurkin.
Lathan is entering the leadership role with Alabama's Republican party at a historical high point. The GOP holds every statewide office, supermajorities in the legislature and controls the state appeals courts.
The Alabama Education Association board of directors met behind closed doors for four hours Friday to discuss concerns raised by its longtime leader.
Former AEA executive secretary Paul Hubbert, in a Tuesday letter to board members, said AEA was in crisis. Hubbert said he was concerned about the association's finances and also the management style of current executive secretary Henry Mabry.
AEA President Anita Gibson said board members had extensive discussions about the issues raised by Hubbert.
The Alabama Education Association was once the unquestioned power in the Alabama statehouse. But that's changed since Republicans won a supermajority in the House and Senate in 2010.
Lawmakers around the country have made significant changes to teacher tenure, expanded charter schools and introduced different versions of voucher programs. But in Alabama, these kinds of changes have been part of a political upheaval not seen in most states.
A state Senate committee has voted to remove the executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association from the board that oversees the state pension system for education employees.
The Senate Education Committee voted 4-3 Wednesday to approve the bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa. His bill removes AEA Executive Secretary Henry Mabry and one school support employee from the Teachers Retirement System board and replaces them with two members elected by higher education employees. The bill passed with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it.