Fair Ballot Commission
2020 Statewide March 3, 2020, Primary Election
Constitutional Amendment Ballot Statement
Statewide Ballot Measure Statement:
BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT #1
(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:
Proposed by Act No. 2019-345 (Senate Bill 397, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Senator Marsh
Cosponsors: Senators Orr, McClendon, Roberts, Chambliss, Albritton, Elliott, Livingston, Gudger, Price, Givhan, Shelnutt, Stutts, Waggoner, Sessions, Williams, Whatley, Reed, Ward, Jones, and Melson
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to change the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the members of the commission by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate; to change the name of the State Superintendent of Education to the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the secretary by the commission, subject to confirmation by the Senate; and to authorize the Governor to appoint a team of local educators and other officials to advise the commission on matters relating to the functioning and duties of the State Department of Education.”
Proposed by Act 2019-345.
This description shall be followed by the following language:
"Yes ( ) No ( )"
(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:
If a majority of voters approve Amendment 1, a separate bill passed by the Legislature, Act 2019-510, will become law. This separate bill does two things. First, it requires the Governor to consult with members of the minority political party of the Legislature when appointing members of the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. Second, it requires the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education to report to the Legislature each year on state education policy objectives and methods to improve academic achievements.
(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:
This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the first constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 1.”
(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.
Amendment 1 does three things. First, it renames the State Board of Education the “Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education” and provides that commission members are appointed for up to two terms by the Governor and approved by the Senate rather than elected by the public. Second, it changes the title of the top public education official in the state and provides that this official’s appointment would be approved by the Senate. Third, it requires the Commission to adopt education standards in place of “common core.”
There is no cost for Amendment 1.
The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 1 is set forth in Sections 284 and 285 of the State Constitution. These sections outline the way a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.