Phenix City special election could change how school board members are selected

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -  A major change could be on the way for education in Phenix City.

Thursday, the city announced a referendum to be voted on by the people to potentially change the way the school board is handled.

The work started back in 2016 and with the help of state legislature, Chris Blackshear Phenix City is announcing a special election for August to allow people to decide if they want to change how the school board is selected.

The city council appoints board members right now, but if enough people check "yes" come August, the school board could be elected by the people.

"I'd rather be able to vote myself on who I would like to see over the school board," said Phenix City local Rebecca Childree.

"Allow the people to vote. Everyone should be able to vote," said  Ms. Jones, another Phenix City local.

If the referendum is passed, there will be seven school board members as there is now. Two members would be elected from each of the three city council districts by a majority of electors, and one member would be elected from the city at-large.

If this referendum is passed, according to city officials, the current board members, minus Board President Paula Stamp who was recently not re-appointed,  will hold their spot until 2020 which is when they can choose to be re-elected for their spot in an election by the people.

A people elected school board would serve four-year terms.

Right now, the school board is not a paid position, but if the referendum is passed, city officials say it would turn into a paid position.

Some people News Leader 9 spoke with off camera said they want to keep the positions as appointed, but that decision will ultimately be in the hands of the people this August.

The election for this potential change will be held on August 28.

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