Applications for Chambers Co. Desegregation Advisory Committee open

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Efforts are underway to name the members of an advisory committee tasked with ensuring the Chambers County School System’s desegregation efforts are meeting the community’s needs.

The Chambers County School District struggled with a federal desegregation order for decades. However, over a month ago, a judge ordered that a Desegregation Advisory Committee be formed and meet at least twice a year.

The make-up of the committee is supposed to represent the diversity of Chambers County as the school district continues the work of desegregating the schools here.

The committee will ensure the schools are no longer segregated between black and white students.

The Chambers County Board of Education has had a desegregation order since 1970....50 years ago. Over the years, they have tried to gain unitary status, meaning you cannot have racially identifiable schools, and they all must be equal.

A public hearing was scheduled in late June, where Judge W. Keith Watkins stated in an order that the board needs to create a diverse Desegregation Advisory Committee made up of three parents and three students from Lafayette and Valley.

Inspire Academy teacher Precious White-Jordan said the board would address the remaining desegregation issues and oversee the process of the changes to the district.

“Those issues would be the purposed consolidation of our two high schools, the operation of our K-8 STEAM Magnet school to address culture and climate in all of our schools and to ensure equal opportunity academically and circular activity to all of our students here,” said White-Jordan.

On Aug. 18, all students were sent home with a paper copy of a survey to fill out if they wanted to be on the committee. There is also a copy online for parents. School improvement specialist Stephen Hammock said it consists of one question. ‘What do you hope to contribute as a member of the Desegregation Advisory Committee?’

“The survey consists of demographic data because we do want to ensure that we have a heterogeneous group and from both attendance zones,” said Hammock.

Hammock said the committee is to meet twice a year but could meet more often with all the changes coming to Chambers County.

“Certainly, early on, we’ll meet more frequently than that to explore some of these issues and illicit their feedback,” said Hammock.

The application timeline is as follows:

  • Aug. 31: Deadline to apply
  • Sept. 1 - 6: Application Review Period
  • Sept. 7: Committee Selection Announced

If you are interested in applying, click here.