Birmingham City Schools

Voters in Birmingham overwhelmingly approved a tax increase yesterday that will go toward Birmingham’s City Schools.

According to Birmingham Board of Education President Randall Woodfin, the extra tax will cost the average homeowner an additional $1.83 a month.

Money from the tax increase will be used to put a preschool classroom in every Birmingham city elementary school. Some schools that already have preschool programs are expected to expand them. The money will also go toward funding music and other fine arts programs as well as foreign language education.

Alabama became the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage yesterday.

Couples throughout Alabama have been applying for – and receiving – marriage licenses. But some judges are refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite the threat of steep penalties.

Meredith Bagley and Alexandrea Davenport, both faculty at the University of Alabama, were married in Vermont five years ago, but they wanted to get an Alabama marriage license now that same-sex marriage is legal.

But when they went in to apply at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse yesterday morning?

Jonathan Hardison

Parents and teachers are expressing concerns about plans to close seven schools and lay off 133 workers in Birmingham City Schools.

At a Monday night meeting, community members said they feared the consequences of one aspect of the plan: Consolidating some seventh- and eighth-grade students with high school students.

Stephannie Huey says she's taught at the middle school and high school level, and doesn't think the two groups will mix well. She said middle school students would be exposed to more sexual activity, drugs and cigarettes.

istockphoto

The Birmingham school board is planning a series of community meetings before it votes on a plan to close seven city schools.

The meetings have been scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. A state takeover of the school district's finances has resulted in a plan to save $8 million by shedding 133 jobs and closing seven schools.

Eleven other schools would be reconfigured, and a proposal for two schools to teach grades seven through 12 has already proven controversial with some school board members.