What you need to know if your child goes to a “failing” school - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

What you need to know if your child goes to a “failing” school

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(WTVM) -

The Alabama Department of Education has just released a list of 78 "failing" schools.

This is based on new criteria by the Alabama Accountability Act, a controversial school choice law recently approved by legislators.

For parents of students who attend these schools, this means if your child goes to a "failing" school, you can transfer your student out and get a tax credit of up to $3,500 to help you pay for private school or a non-failing public school.

Here is a list of local schools that are considered failing, based on test scores and school improvement grant applications.

Barbour County
Barbour County Jr. High

Chambers County
Lafayette Eastside Elementary (Lafayette)
John P. Powell Middle School (Lafayette)
Lanett Jr. High (Lanett)

Macon County
Notasulga High School
Tuskegee Institute Middle School

Alabama state superintendent Tommy Bice has been critical of how the law assigns failing status. He says some are on a downward decline, while others show remarkable improvement but are still on the list.

"If we don't use improvement and growth as part of the formula, we could end up with schools that actually in most cases would not be considered failing," said Dr. Bice. "Regretfully, we're not able to add that to the list and legally I'm unable to remove a school from the list even though they've shown improvement."

We did reach out to several local superintendents with failing schools looking for their comments, and we are still waiting to hear back from them.

If you do chose to transfer your child out of a failing school you are asked to give your current school district notice by August 1.

Keep in mind you will have to pay the costs yourself up front, and then receive your tax break later.

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