A judge plans to rule Wednesday on whether the governor can sign into law a bill providing private school tax credits.
Gov. Robert Bentley had planned to sign the bill Tuesday afternoon, but Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price temporarily put that on hold while he considers a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Education Association.
Price heard arguments Tuesday afternoon on whether the Legislature violated Alabama's open meeting law and its own operating rules in passing the bill in a series of quick votes Thursday night.
The governor says running over his own education allies was worth it to get tax credits to help children in failing public schools transfer to private schools.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he and other Republican leaders didn't tell the state school superintendent and other education leaders that they were planning to expand a school flexibility bill into a tax credit bill because they would have opposed it. School Superintendent Tommy Bice says the final product caught him by surprise and it was not the school flexibility bill that he had endorsed.
The Alabama House and Senate are divided over whether a school flexibility bill should include flexibility with teacher tenure laws.
The House passed a bill Feb. 14 to allow city and county school systems to have flexibility in complying with state education laws, including tenure. The Senate rewrote the bill Thursday to exclude tenure. The House refused to go along with the Senate's changes and sent the bill to a six-member conference committee to try working out the differences.
A school flexibility bill recently passed by the Alabama House won't come up in the Senate until at least Thursday.
The Senate's Republican leadership had planned to ask the Senate to pass the bill Tuesday. But Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, says they decided to wait because three Republican senators were either absent or late Tuesday. He says he hopes to bring up the bill Thursday.
A school flexibility bill recently passed by the Alabama House is slated for debate in the Senate.
The Senate's Republican leadership plans to ask the Senate to pass the bill Tuesday. It is one of the goals for the Legislature's Republican majority this session. The bill would allow schools system to have flexibility in complying with many state education laws, provided the changes are approved by the State Board of Education. Senators say the battle will be over whether to allow flexibility in complying with teacher tenure laws.
Legislation that would allow city and county school systems to opt out of state education laws could come up for a final vote in the Senate next week.
A school flexibility bill cleared the House on Feb. 14 and was approved by the Senate Education Committee in a 5-3 vote Wednesday, with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says the bill is a priority and could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he's ready to sign whatever version of the bill the Legislature passes.