Russell County Middle School on Alabama's failing schools list

Friday, June 21, 2013

Russell County Middle School is the only local school among the 78 in Alabama considered "failing," according to a new state law.

The schools on the Alabama Department of Education's failing list, which was released Tuesday, could lose students and corresponding state funding if parents transfer their children and seek the state income tax credit the law allows to help them pay for such a move.

The state legislature approved the controversial school choice law, called the Alabama Accountability Act, this year. It provides a credit of about $3,500 annually for transfers from failing schools to private schools or a non-failing public school.

Russell County Middle School principal Almesha Patrick said she isn't bracing for transfers. She said the only calls she received Wednesday from parents were about orientation for next school year. In fact, she added, RCMS is expected to increase its enrollment from 610 students in May to 640 in August.

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