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DOCUMENT 2

ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA

BALDWIN COUNTY BOARD OF §


EDUCATION, §
§
Plaintiff, §
§
v. §
§
ERIC G. MACKEY, in his individual §
and official capacity, as the STATE § Civil Action No.:
SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION; §
the GULF SHORES CITY BOARD OF §
EDUCATION; and the BALDWIN COUNTY §
COMMISSION §
§
Defendants. §

COMPLAINT

COMES NOW the PLAINTIFF, BALDWIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

(hereinafter "Baldwin County Board of Education"), for its Complaint against Defendants ERIC

G. MACKEY, in his individual and official capacity as the State Superintendent of

Education (hereinafter "Mackey" or the "State Superintendent"), the GULF SHORES

CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION (hereinafter "Gulf Shores City Board"), and the

BALDWIN COUNTY COMMISSION (hereinafter "County Commission") and state as

follows:

DESCRIPTION OF CLAIMS AND JURISDICTIONS

This Complaint seeks, among other things:

1. Declaratory Judgment, pursuant to the provisions of Alabama Code (1975) §

6-6-222, et. seq., as amended and Rule 57 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure;

2. A preliminary and permanent injunction, pursuant to Alabama Code (1975) §


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6-6-500, as amended and Rule 65 ofthe Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure;

3. Issuance of a writ of certiorari;

4. Issuance of a writ of mandamus; and

5. Any other relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled under the laws of the

State of Alabama.

PARTIES

6. The Baldwin County Board of Education is a county board of education, a

body politic of the State of Alabama, with its principal place of business in Baldwin County,

Alabama.

7. Mackey is over the age of nineteen (19) years of age and serves as the State

Superintendent of Education. In said role, Mackey serves as the Secretary and Executive

Officer of the Alabama State Board of Education, the governing body of the Alabama State

Department of Education, an agency of the State of Alabama, with its principal place of

business in Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama.

8. The Gulf Shores City Board is a city board of education, a body politic of the

State of Alabama, with its principal place ofbusiness in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

9. Baldwin County, Alabama is a county organized and existing under the laws

of the State of Alabama, Alabama Code (1975) § 11-1-1 et. seq., and the Baldwin County

Commission exists under the laws of the State of Alabama with its principal place of

business in Baldwin County, Alabama, and exercises governmental authority in Baldwin

County, Alabama in accordance with applicable state law. The Baldwin County

Commission is joined in this action as a necessary party for just adjudication of this matter;

however, no claims are asserted against the Baldwin County Commission other than Count

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II.

JURISDICTION AND YENUE

10. The Baldwin County Board of Education seeks, among other things,

declaratory, injunctive, and equitable relief. This Honorable Court possesses and is entitled

to exercise jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action pursuant to§§ 6-6-223, 12-11-

31, and 12-11-33 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975).

11. Pursuant to§§ 6-3-2 and 6-3-6 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975) and Rule 82 of

the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, venue is proper in Baldwin County, Alabama.

FACTS

12. The case and controversy submitted to the Court in this matter pertain to the

separation of the Gulf Shores City School System from the Baldwin County Public School

System.

13. On October 9, 2017 the Gulf Shores City Council unilaterally voted to form a city

school system. Interestingly, this decision was not submitted to the citizens of Gulf Shores for

their approval. Plaintiff has never disputed the validity of the formation of this City School

System.

14. On December 4, 2017, the first Gulf Shores City Board of Education members

were sworn into office.

15. Shortly afterwards, representatives from both school systems began negotiations

in an attempt to enter into an agreement regarding the split.

16. Initially, Gulf Shores insisted upon July 1, 2018 separation date which was

unacceptable to the Baldwin County Board of Education.

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17. As a result of an impasse regarding the separation date, the then-Interim State

Superintendent, Dr. Ed Richardson, requested that the parties meet with him on March 13, 2018

in Montgomery, Alabama.

18. On April 20, 2018, Dr. Richardson issued a decision which stated that the start of

the Gulf Shores School System would be the 2019/2020 school year.

19. On July 25, 2018, at the request of the current State Superintendent of Education,

Dr. Eric Mackey, the parties again met in Montgomery. At that time, Mackey informed the

parties that he had retained the law firm of Adams & Reese LLP, to act as facilitators to assist the

parties in an attempt to reach an agreement on separation.

20. The parties met with attorneys Mark Gaines and Anna Davis of Adams & Reese

on two separate occasions but no agreement was reached.

21. Through counsel, the Baldwin County Board of Education requested an additional

meeting on three separate occasions. No additional meeting ever took place.

22. On October 8, 2018, the parties received a communication from Mr. Gaines

urging the parties to: "make a deal." In particular, his communication stated as follows: "If you

end up leaving all the issues to the State Superintendent you can almost guarantee that there will

be wailing and gnashing of teeth on both sides."

23. At the request ofDr. Mackey, the parties met with him on December 14,2018.

24. On December 20, 2018, Dr. Mackey sent the respective superintendents his

"Preliminary Decision Related to the Separation Issues Between the Gulf Shores Board of

Education and the Baldwin County Board of Education." (hereinafter "Preliminary Decision"

attached as Exhibit 1).

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25. In a cover letter accompanying this Preliminary Decision, Mackey instructed

both Superintendents to: "make any and all efforts necessary to complete the final agreement on

or before January 18, 2019."

26. On January 17, 2019, the Baldwin County Board of Education objected to the

Preliminary Decision and declined to sign the separation agreement for a variety of reasons,

including but not limited to the fact that Mackey's demands were inconsistent, in many respects,

with applicable Alabama law.

27. On February 5, 2019, Mackey issued a final decision related to the separation

issues. (hereinafter "Decision" attached as Exhibit 2).

28. Included in his Decision were the following statements:

I therefore direct the superintendent for each system to provide my


office with a written response to this decision, to be received by my
office no later than February 15, 2019, in which each
superintendent confirms his acceptance of this decision as final and
binding and his commitment to begin implementing this decision
immediately. If no written response confirming compliance is
received by that date, this office will understand that lack of
response as a refusal to accept this decision as binding and will
proceed accordingly under the enforcement authority granted by
Section 16-4-4 of the Alabama Code.

29. Section 16-4-4 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975) reads as follows:

The State Superintendent of Education shall explain the true intent


and meaning of the school laws and of the rules and regulations of
the State Board of Education. He shall decide, without expense to
the parties concerned, all controversies and disputes involving the
proper administration of the public school system. The State
Superintendent of Education shall enforce all the provisions of this
title and the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education.
He shall file charges with the State Board of Education or other
controlling authority and shall recommend for removal or
institute proceedings for the removal of any person appointed
under the provisions of this title for immorality, misconduct in
office, insubordination, incompetency or willful neglect of duty.

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30. Mackey has apparently attempted to clarify this portion of his Decision. If any

action is instituted by the Mackey against the Baldwin County Superintendent of Education,

however, the Baldwin County Board of Education will promptly seek a temporary restraining

order from this Court.

COUNT I

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

ENFORCEMENT OF Ala. Code§§ 16-13-230 and 16-13-231

31. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1

through 30 as if fully set forth herein.

32. There exists a justiciable controversy between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and the Defendants concerning the date upon which the Gulf Shores City Board

is entitled to receive Foundation Program funding.

33. This Court has jurisdiction of this Count under the laws of the State of

Alabama.

34. As stated above, on February 5, 2019, the State Superintendent issued his

Decision in connection with the separation of the Gulf Shores City school system from the

Baldwin County Board of Education.

35. The State Superintendent includes therein, provisions purporting to order that

the State Department of Education will "divide the Foundation Program allocation to

Baldwin County and will apportion and pay over to the [Gulf Shores] City Board, as the

City Board's share for that month, an amount determined by the SDE with reference to an

equivalent number of certified positions based on Fiscal Year 2019-2020 ADM calculations

and corresponding funding divisors."

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36. Such an order is contrary to the law.

3 7. Employee contract periods run from September 1 through August 31, a school

calendar year. Foundation Program Funds are distributed beginning on October 1 through

September 30, a fiscal calendar year. Thus, the Baldwin County Board of Education has

acknowledged that it is responsible for paying all current Gulf Shores employees through

the end of their 2018-2019 contract period (for 9-month employees, that period ends on

August 31, 2019).

38. It cannot be disputed that the Gulf Shores City Board is responsible for its

own payroll obligations for the 2019-2020 school contract year, which for 9-month

employees will begin on September 1, 2019 and end on August 31, 2020. Mackey's

decision orders the Baldwin County Board of Education to agree to provide a portion of its

already allocated Foundation Program Funds to the Gulf Shores City Board for the month of

September, 2019. In other words, the State Superintendent's decision orders the Baldwin

County Board of Education to pay a portion of the Gulf Shores City Board's payroll

obligations for the 2019-2020 school contract year.

39. Alabama law specifically directs that money from the Foundation Program

Fund be paid to local boards of education each month in amounts determined solely by the

Alabama Legislature.

40. Specifically, Pursuant to Sections 1 and 2 of Act No. 95-314, as amended

(now codified as Sections 16-13-230 and 16-13-231 of the Code of Alabama (1975), the

Alabama Legislature has established the Foundation Program Fund as a fund for the public

schools of the State and has specifically provided for the apportionment and payment of

public school money from the Fund to those local boards of education which meet the

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qualifications therefor as follows:

(a) The Alabama Legislature shall find and determine the cost of the
Foundation Program on a school-by-school, and fiscal year, basis (Section
16-13-231(b)(2));

(b) The funds available to meet the cost of the Foundation Program shall be
appropriated by the Alabama Legislature taking into consideration an
amount of local effort required on the part of each local board of education
(Section 16-13-231 (b )(3)(a);

(c) The amount for each school shall be paid monthly to the local board of
education having jurisdiction over such school (Section 16-13-
231 (b)(3 )(b)); and

(d) The local board of education shall allocate funds from the Foundation
Program Fund to each school in an equitable manner and as provided by
law, and shall report such allocations annually to the State Board of
Education (Section 16-13-231 (b)( 1)(d)).

41. The State Superintendent of Education is required by law to make the annual

apportionment of school funds to the local boards of education as provided in Title 16 of the

Code of Alabama (1975) (Section 16-4-5).

42. The State Board of Education, and the State Superintendent of Education,

have no authority in Title 16 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975) to:

(a) determine the cost of the Foundation Program for any school, or

(b) determine the amount of any funds from the Foundation Program Fund to
be apportioned and paid to a local board of education, or

(c) direct the allocation of the funds received by a local board of education
from the Foundation Program Fund.

43. Under Section 16-13-23l(b)(2)(e) of the Code of Alabama, the State Board of

Education may cause studies to be made of current expenses of local boards of education and

propose changes based thereupon to the Governor and the Alabama Legislature, but the Alabama

Legislature has made specific provision for the apportionment and payment of funds from the

Foundation Program Fund to local boards of education.

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44. In addition, in accordance with principles of Alabama law, and In re Opinion of

the Justices, 160 So.2d 648, the general authority of the State Superintendent of Education to

decide controversies and disputes involving the proper administration of the public schools under

Section 16-4-4 of the Code of Alabama (1975) does not include the authority to exercise the

power to make or revise the apportionment of funds from the Foundation Program Fund to a

local board of education, as made by the Alabama Legislature for a fiscal year, which power the

Legislature has specifically reserved unto itself for the benefit of local boards of education.

45. In regards to a city school splitting from a county school system, the State

Department of Education, by letter dated June 12, 2000, has previously found that a "school year

is July 1 through June 30, and the State fiscal year is October 1 through September 30. A new

school system does not receive a monthly Foundation Program payment until the end of October.

The city would most likely need to provide funds for salaries and school operations from July

through September, as well as any cost prior to July 1." See Letter to Eugene, attached as

Exhibit 3.

46. The foregoing is further evidenced by the letter of Thomas R. Bice, State

Superintendent of Education, dated February 6, 2015, providing: "By creating a separate school

system, the Gardendale City Board assumed the obligation of paying the salaries and benefits of

its employees, and it is not entitled to any portion of 2015 Foundation Program funds paid to the

Jefferson County Board." See Letter of Thomas R. Bice, attached as Exhibit 4.

4 7. Every school system in Alabama must locally fund all state earned payroll

obligations until Foundation Program funds are available during the October 1 fiscal year.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require all school systems to record a payroll

salary liability as of September 30 until those funds are legally available in October. At the time

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of its decision to split, the Gulf Shores City School was well aware that start-up funds from the

City would be required and that, as a new school system, it would not receive a monthly

Foundation Program payment until the end of October.

48. By way of example, as a direct result of the split, the Baldwin County Board of

Education will be required to create a new 7th - 1Oth grade facility with substantial start-up

costs, including covering the September payroll obligations for the 40 additional countywide

teacher units based on growth. No one is covering the large start-up cost and September payroll

obligation for the Baldwin County Board of Education.

Under the State Superintendent's directive, the Baldwin County Board of Education will

be forced to cover its own September payroll obligations as well as front the start-up cost for the

Gulf Shores City Board's payroll obligations for the 2019-2020 school calendar contract period.

49. Accordingly, the Plaintiff asserts that it is not equitable and in contravention of

applicable law for the State Superintendent to order that any portion of the Baldwin County

Board of Education's Foundation Program funds through the end of the current fiscal year,

ending September 30, 20 19, or the Baldwin County Board of Education pay for the Gulf Shores

City Board's September payroll out of Foundation funds. Such amounts are determined solely

by the Alabama Legislature.

50. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the Gulf Shores City

Board concerning whether the Gulf Shores City Board is entitled to any portion of Foundation

funds through the end ofthe current fiscal year.

51. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the State Superintendent

concerning the laws of the State of Alabama, including, but not limited to, §§ 16-13-230, 16-13-

231, and 16-4-4, and whether the State Superintendent has any authority to exercise the power to

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make or revise the apportionment of funds from the Foundation Program Fund to a local board of

education for a fiscal year.

52. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the State Superintendent

as to whether he has the power and authority to direct Foundation Program Funds be distributed

in the manner described in his final decision, and whether his conduct is without legal authority

and precedent, and is arbitrary and capricious.

53. This Honorable Court possesses jurisdiction under the laws of the State of

Alabama to issue a respect to the rights privileges and entitlements of the parties relative to the

provisions of§§ 16-13-230, 16-13-231 and 16-4-4 of the Code of Alabama (1975).

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education


'
respectfully moved this Honorable Court to ender a declaratory judgment relative to the rights

and privileges of the Plaintiff under §§ 16-13-230, 16-13-231, and 16-4-4 of the Code of

Alabama (1975) and grant any additional and further relief that the Plaintiff may be entitled to in

this cause, including, but not limited to:

(a) A specific declaration that §§ 16-13-230 and 16-13-231 do not


contemplate diverting Baldwin County Board of Education Foundation
Funds to the Gulf Shores City Board during the current fiscal year;

(d) A specific declaration that the Alabama Legislature constitutes the sole
government entity authorized under§§ 16-13-230 and 16-13-231 to make
or revise the apportionment of funds from the Foundation Program Fund
for the benefit of local boards of education;

(e) A specific declaration that any designation made by the State


Superintendent that includes that the Gulf Shores City Board receive an
apportionment of the Baldwin County Board of Education's Foundation
Program Funds during the current fiscal year is null and void pursuant to
Alabama Code (1975) §§ 16-13-230 and 16-13-231;

(t) A specific declaration that the State Superintendent lacks the power and
authority under § 16-4-4 to direct the apportionment of Foundation
Program Funds set out in his final decision, which is contrary to§§ 16-13-
230 and 16-13-231; and/or other established Alabama law(s); and

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(g) Any and all further and different relief to which the Plaintiffs maybe
entitled to in this cause.

COUNT II

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

ENFORCEMENT OF ALABAMA CODE (1975) §§ 16-13-31(b) and 40-12-4

54. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

53 as if fully set forth herein.

55. There exists a justiciable controversy between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and the Defendants concerning the date upon which certain sales, use and privilege

tax revenue is due to be apportioned between the Baldwin County Board of Education and the

Gulf Shores City Board.

56. This Court has jurisdiction of this Count under the laws of the State of Alabama.

57. On or about February 5, 2019, the State Superintendent issued his Decision in

connection with the separation of the Gulf Shores City school system froni the Baldwin County

Board of Education.

58. The State Superintendent includes therein, provisions purporting to govern the

date upon which certain sales, use and privilege tax revenues in Baldwin County are to be

apportioned between the Baldwin County Board of Education and the Gulf Shores City Board.

59. The taxes at issue are: (a) the countywide one-half percent sales and use tax levied

by the Baldwin County Commission on December 20, 1988; (b) the countywide one-half percent

sales and use tax levied by the Baldwin County Commission on June 6, 1991; and (c) the

countywide one percent sales and use tax levied by the Baldwin County Commission by

Resolution 2017-046. (collectively, hereinafter referred to as the "Sales Tax").

60. Specifically, the State Superintendent has purported to order the allocation,
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apportionment, and distribution of a portion of the Sales Tax beginning on June 1, 2019.

61. Such an order is contrary to Alabama law.

62. Alabama Code (1975) § 40-12-4 grants the governing body of each county the

authority to levy sales tax for school purposes. Specifically, it states, in part, that "[i]n all

counties having more than one local board of education, revenues collected under the provisions

of this section shall be distributed within such county on the same basis of the total calculated

costs for the Foundation Program for those local boards of education within the county."

63. The Foundation Program funds from which the calculated costs are figured, as

well as the date of participation, are linked directly to the October 1 through September 30 fiscal

year.

64. By way of background, the Foundation Program was established by Act No. 95-

314 ofthe1995 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature ("Act No. 95-314") to implement a

comprehensive program for the annual funding of the local public schools of the State.

65. The related provisions of Act No. 95-314 provide a coherent statutory framework

for the operation of the accounting and budgetary systems of local boards of education on the

basis of a "fiscal year" beginning each October 1 and ending on the next succeeding September

30, and provide for the apportionment of countywide school taxes on October 1 for the purposes

of the Foundation Program for the fiscal year beginning on such date:

(a) Section 2 of Act No. 95-314 (codified as Section 16-13-231 of the Code of
Alabama (1975)) establishes the Foundation Program;

(b) Section 19 of Act No. 95-314 (codified as Section 16-13-31(b) of the


Code of Alabama (1975)) requires the tax collector/revenue commissioner
of each county to apportion countywide school taxes to each local board of
education in the county on the basis of the total calculated costs of the
Foundation Program as determined pursuant to Section 2(b)(3)(a} of Act
No. 95-314 (codified as Section 16-13-23l(b)(3)(a) of the Code of
Alabama (1975)), which provides the part of the costs of the Foundation
Program constituting the required local effort of each local board of

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education must be determined on a fiscal year basis; and

(c) Section 51 of Act No. 95-314 (codified as Section 40-12-4 of the Code of
Alabama (1975)) requires proceeds of the countywide privilege license
taxes levied thereunder to be distributed to the local boards of education in
a county on the same basis as of the total calculated costs of the
Foundation Program.

66. In accordance with the above, Alabama law directly addresses the division of

taxes solely based on the fiscal year, not on the date of separation of two school systems.

67. An apportionment of all countywide school taxes as of October 1 in each year is

consistent with the fiscal year basis for the financial operation of local boards of education

established by Act No. 95-314, the historic and uniform practice in the State for apportionment

of countywide school taxes, and the standard accounting and budgetary systems established by

law for local boards of education in the State under Article 7 of Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the

Code of Alabama (1975).

68. In addition, Alabama Code (1975) § 16-13-31(b) states in part, "the

apportionment of countywide taxes collected for the purposes of participation in the Foundation

Program as determined in Section 16-13-31 (b) shall be used unless the local boards of education

in a county sign a mutual agreement and secure the approval of the State Superintendent of

Education to use some other plan involving desirable special adjustments."

69. Thus, the only limited exception to the fiscal year distribution would be based

upon a mutual agreement between both boards of education along with the State

Superintendent's approval, which currently does not exist and cannot be ordered by the State

Superintendent.

70. Additionally, under Alabama Code (1975) § 16-13-1, the "fiscal year" of every

board of education "shall begin on October 1 and end September 30," and the State Department

of Education, by letter dated June 12, 2000, has found that "a new school system would require

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start-up funds from the city. The school year is July 1 through June 30, and the State fiscal year

is October 1 through September 30. A new school system does not receive a monthly

Foundation Program payment until the end of October. The city would most likely need to

provide funds for salaries and school operations from July through September, as well as any

cost prior to July 1."

71. Finally, the Baldwin County Board of Education has pledged the Sales Tax for

local debt obligations through the end of the current fiscal year, being September 30, 2019. The

debt obligations are directly aligned with the Gulf Shores City Board's debt assumptions, which

are directly correlated to the outstanding balance as of October 1, 2019.

72. The division of local countywide taxes within a time frame that does not correlate

with the assumption of capital debt would be a reportable item to all nationwide credit agencies

and holders of Baldwin County Board of Education bonds. This act has the potential to result in

an adverse credit rating for the Baldwin County Board of Education, which can negatively

impact future debt issuances. Accordingly, the Plaintiff asserts that it is not equitable or in

accordance with applicable law for the State Superintendent to order for the division of local

taxes to start on June 1, 2019, when the obligations of over $10 million in principal and interest

payments is not assumed by the Gulf Shores City Board until October 1, 2019.

73. The Plaintiff avers that Alabama Code (1975) §§ 16-13-31(b) and 40-12-4

contemplate distributing tax revenues only to the local boards of education in accordance with

the fiscal year, absent an agreement between both school systems. In addition, there is no

applicable authority which separates countywide taxes on any other basis other than the fiscal

year.

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74. The Plaintiff avers that the apportionment of countywide school taxes on any date

or dates in advance of the beginning of a fiscal year on October 1, in connection with the

establishment of a local board of education within the jurisdiction of an existing local board of

education:

(a) creates a loss of revenues and disrupts existing budgetary allocations of


funds for the existing board, thus resulting in an inequitable apportionment
of countywide school taxes;

(b) is inconsistent with the provisions and purposes of Act No. 95-314, which
established the Foundation Program as part of a comprehensive program
for the annual funding of the local public schools of the State;

(c) is inconsistent with the standard accounting and budgetary systems


established by law for local boards of education;

(d) is inconsistent with the historic and uniform practice of apportionment of


countywide school taxes in the State; and

(e) creates uncertainty as to the timing of distributions of funds in future


establishments of local boards of education.

75. An equitable apportionment of countywide school taxes by the tax

collector/revenue commissioner in each county can be made in accordance with Section 2 of Act

No. 95-314 (codified as Section 16-13-3l(b) of the Code of Alabama (1975)) only if such

apportionment is made:

(a) pursuant to the same formula, being the total calculated costs of the
Foundation Program; and

(b) at the same time, as of October 1 in each year, being the beginning of the
applicable fiscal year. The Plaintiff avers that a failure to file this action
will result in the improper diversion of funds to the Gulf Shores City
Board.

76. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the Baldwin County

Commission concerning the laws of the State of Alabama, including whether the County

Commission has a legal duty under § 16-13-31 (b) to distribute the countywide Sales Tax levied

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and collected for the benefit of the Baldwin County Board of Education for the 2018-2019 fiscal

year in the manner dictated by the State Superintendent, to include distribution of the Sales Tax

pursuant to Section 40-12-4 to the Gulf Shores City Board beginning on June 1, 2019, or

whether the County Commission should distribute the Sales Tax revenues to the local school

boards located within the county beginning on October 1, 2019.

77. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the Gulf Shores City

Board concerning the proper date for apportionment of the Sales Tax.

78. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the State Superintendent

concerning the laws of the State of Alabama, specifically §§ 16-13-31 (b), 40-12-4, and whether

such distributions and divisions must be made based solely on the fiscal year, absent an

agreement between both local boards.

79. A justiciable controversy exists between the Plaintiff and the State Superintendent

as to whether he has the power and authority to direct Sales Tax revenues be distributed in the

manner described in his final decision, and whether his conduct is without legal authority and

precedent, and is arbitrary and capricious.

80. This Honorable Court possesses jurisdiction under the laws of the State of

Alabama to issue a respect to the rights privileges and entitlements of the parties relative to the

provisions of§§ 16-13-31 and 40-12-4 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975).

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education

respectfully move this Honorable Court to ender a declaratory judgment relative to the rights and

privileges of the Plaintiff under§§ 16-13-31 and 40-12-4 ofthe Code of Alabama (1975) and

grant any additional and further relief that the Plaintiff may be entitled to in this cause, including,

but not limited to:

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(a) A specific declaration that§§ 16-13-31 and 40-12-4 do not allow diverting
Baldwin County, Alabama tax revenues to the Gulf Shores City Board,
prior to October 1, 2019;

(d) A specific declaration that the Baldwin County Commission constitutes


the sole government entity authorized under§§ 16-13-31 and 40-12-4 to
distribute the proceeds from countywide Sales Tax and the sole
government entity responsible for determining the appropriate division of
such proceeds among the local boards of the county;

(e) A specific declaration that any designation made by the State


Superintendent that includes that the Gulf Shores City Board receive an
apportionment of the countywide Sales Tax distribution percentages in
Baldwin County, Alabama prior to October 1, 2019 is null and void;

(f) A specific declaration that the State Superintendent lacks the power and
authority to direct the distribution of tax revenues in the manner set out in
his Decision, which is contrary to §§ 16-13-31 & 40-12-4; and/or other
established Alabama law(s);

(g) Injunctive relief on "behalf of the Plaintiff Ordering that the Baldwin
County Commission shall hold all funds designated for the Gulf Shores
City Board in escrow until such time as this controversy can be resolved
either by agreement of the parties or by further Order of this Honorable
Court; and

(h) Any and all further and different relief to which the Plaintiffs maybe
entitled to in this cause.

COUNT III

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

ENFORCEMENT OF ALABAMA CODE (1975) § 16-4-4 and § 16-4-8 in relation to

STUDENT ASSIGNMENT AND TRANSPORTATION

81. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

80 as if fully set forth herein.

82. On or about February 5, 2019, the State Superintendent issued his Decision in

connection with the separation of the Gulf Shores City school system from the Baldwin County

Board of Education.

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83. The State Superintendent includes therein provisions purporting to govern the

assignment and transportation of students under certain circumstances.

84. Specifically, the State Superintendent has ordered the following:

(a) Certain Gulf Shores Students currently enrolled in various specialized


programs may remain in the County System until completion of their
public school educational program, including but not limited to the
County's IB program and the County's career technical school;

(b) Certain County Students may participate in the Naval JROTC program
located at Gulf Shores High School;

(c) All eleventh and twelfth grade students residing in the Gulf Shores Feeder
Patterns during the 2019-2021 school years shall attend Gulf Shores High
School until their graduation or completion of their public school
educational program;

(d) All rising 1Oth grade Baldwin County Students currently residing in the
Gulf Shores Feeder Pattern shall choose whether to attend Gulf Shores
through their graduation; and

(e) Any rising 1Oth grade Baldwin County Student who wishes to attend the
Gulf Shores Schools had to declare their intent to attend by February 1,
2019, subsequently extended by the State Superintendent to March 1, 2019
or such student shall be considered to have elected to remain in the Gulf
Shores City Schools and shall be counted as such for all State Department
ofEducation ("SDE") Fiscal Year 2019-2020 financial calculations related
to daily attendance.

85. In a special called meeting on January 17, 2019, the Gulf Shores City Board took

action to authorize student attendance similar in substance to the provisions set forth in the

preceding paragraph, the only material difference being that the State Superintendent's decision

modifies the 1Oth grade declaration date.

86. Under Section 16-4-4 of the Code of Alabama ( 197 5), the State Superintendent is

given authority to explain the true intent and meaning of the school laws and of the rules and

regulations of the state board of education. Under such authority, the State Superintendent shall

decide, without expense to the parties concerned, all controversies and disputes involving the

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proper administration of the public school system.

87. Under Section 16-4-8 of the Code of Alabama (1975), the State Superintendent is

given the authority to "review actions of the county and city school boards and of county

superintendents of education and city superintendents of schools in matters relating to finance

and other matters seriously affecting the educational interest."

88. While the State Superintendent of Education has been granted broad general

authority, that authority is not unlimited, nor is it plenary. The authority to exercise general

control and supervision over a county board of education does not include the authority to

exercise the powers and authority which the Legislature has specifically conferred upon local

boards of education.

89. The Alabama Legislature has specifically defined and designated the

responsibilities of a county board of education in regards to compulsory school attendance and

attendance districts. For example, in Alabama Code (1975) § 16-8-34, the Legislature provided

that the county board of education shall arrange the county into one or more appropriate and

convenient compulsory school attendance districts, and the board is directed to keep "full and

complete records of the boundaries" of each compulsory attendance district.

90. The Alabama Legislature has further authorized local boards of education to

regulate the admission of students to their schools in Alabama Code (1975) § 16-28-3 and to

collect fees from students attending schools in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction of the

student's residence in § 16-10-6. Specifically, § 16-10-6 authorizes a board to fix and collect

tuition fees or charges from pupils attending schools under the jurisdiction of a local board but

who live outside the territory over which such boards have jurisdiction. Implicit in Section 16-

10-6 is the understanding that a child may attend a school outside the school of the child's

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residence, and courts have held that there is no statutory authority for requiring children who live

within a city to attend a city, rather than a county, school. Phenix City Bd. of Educ. v. Teague,

515 So.2d 971 (Ala. Civ. App. 1987).

91. In addition, the State Department of Education has giVen local boards of

education the responsibility of adopting policies of admission within the framework of state law

and the State Board of Education. Ala. Admin. Code§ 290-3-1-.02(7).

92. In accordance with applicable law, the State Superintendent of Education has no

authority to place, assign and/or transfer pupils from one public school to another public school

within a city or county school system. Further, in accordance with applicable law, the State

Superintendent of Education has no authority to determine admission criteria for pupils within

the public school systems of the State. All such authority is expressly given to local boards of

education.

93. By Resolution dated January 15, 2019, the Baldwin County Board of Education

took the following actions in connection with the student attendance issue:

"Fall 2019 - all eleventh and twelfth grade students in the current Gulf Shores High
School feeder pattern will be assigned to Gulf Shores High School.

Fall 2019 - Kindergarten through ninth grade students:

• Kindergarten through ninth grade students residing within the corporate


limits of Gulf Shores will attend GSBE schools.

• Kindergarten through ninth grade students residing outside the corporate


limits of Gulf Shores shall attend BCBE schools as assigned by the BCBE.

• Fall 2019 - tenth grade students who reside in the current Gulf Shores
High School feeder pattern but outside the corporate limits of Gulf Shores
will be given their choice of attending Gulf Shores High School or another
high school option provided by the BCBE."

94. To the extent that the actions of the Baldwin County Board of Education

concerning student attendance are consistent with the actions of the Gulf Shores City Board, the

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two boards have acted within the authority granted to them by Alabama law, and those areas of

commonality will govern student attendance and the assignment of students between the

Baldwin County Board of Education and the Gulf Shores City Board.

95. To the extent that the State Superintendent purports to make decisions concerning

student attendance and the assignment of students between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and the Gulf Shores City Board that are different than the areas of commonality

between the two boards, such actions are without legal authority and have no force or effect.

96. Next, the State Superintendent of Education has issued directives to the Baldwin

County Board of Education regarding the transportation of students outside the Baldwin County

School System's attendance zones.

97. Specifically, the State Superintendent purports to direct the Baldwin County

Board of Education to transport all County Students that attend the Gulf Shores City Schools

pursuant to Section 2.C.iv. of the State Superintendent's decision.

98. While the State Superintendent may have general authority to review matters

under § 16-4-4 and § 16-4-8, that authority does not include the authority to direct and control

the transportation ofpupils. See In re Opinion ofJustices, 160 So.2d 648 (1964).

99. The legislature has delegated to county and city boards of education broad powers

to effectively administer and supervise the public schools and to establish educational policies

that are in the best interests of the schoolchildren of Alabama. See Alabama Code ( 197 5) §§ 16-

8-8 and 16-11-9.

100. Citing to the specific authority of local boards to oversee the day-to-day operation

of schools and assignment of pupils to particular schools, courts have held that it is reasonable to

infer that the Legislature intended that the matter of transportation of pupils should come under

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the control and authority of the county boards of education. In re Opinion of the Justices, 160

So.2d at 650.

101. Courts have stated that they have no general supervisory power over

transportation of school children by boards of education, and courts will not ordinarily seek to

control exercise of broad discretion given by statute to boards. Ex parte Perry County Bd. of

Educ., 180 So.2d 246 (1965).

102. In addition, county boards of education are specifically given the authority to

arrange for the transportation of pupils to and from consolidated schools under Alabama Code

(1975) § 16-8-1. Further, under a county board's general power to contract outlined in Alabama

Code (1975) § 16-8-40, a county board of education may adopt a policy of contracting with

individuals to transport school children. Shores v. Elmore County Bd. ofEduc., 3 So.2d 14 (Ala.

1941).

103. Where transportation of pupils to a consolidated school is not involved, and there

has been no agreement between two school systems as to the acceptance and transportation of

pupils into the school system in which they do not reside, however, state law does not make it

mandatory upon county boards of education to furnish transportation to pupils beyond their

territorial limits. Ex Parte Perry County Bd. ofEduc., 180 So.2d 246, 249 (1965).

104. Further, not only have courts found no duty to provide transportation, but courts

have further outlined that a county board has no lawful warrant to furnish such transportation in

the absence of an agreement between the systems. Id. at 249, citing to Conecuh County Bd. of

Educ. v. Campbell, 162 So. 2d 233.

105. Finally, the State Board of Education has recognized the authority oflocal school

systems to determine how state funds for transportation are allocated for children who reside in

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DOCUMENT 2

one school system and choose to attend another school system. According to State Board of

Education resolution entitled "Transportation," adopted on July 22, 1976, the State Board of

Education has ruled that "no school system may transport children who reside in another school

system without the mutual consent of both systems involved" and that "no funds are to be paid

from the State level for children transported from one system to another system, without the

mutual consent ofboth systems involved or unless directed by court order." (emphasis added).

106. In accordance with applicable law, the State Superintendent of Education has no

authority under §§ 16-4-4 or 16-4-8 to dictate the responsibility of transportation between two

public school systems. As outlined above, transportation matters are left to the authority of the

local boards.

107. There exists a justiciable controversy between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and Defendant Mackey and Gulf Shores City Board concerning the Baldwin County

Board of Education's right to determine student assignment and attendance zones, student

admission, and student transportation.

108. This Honorable Court possesses jurisdiction under the laws of the State of

Alabama to issue a declaratory judgment with respect to the rights privileges and entitlements of

the parties relative to the respective authority of the parties related to student assignment and

attendance zones, student admission, and student transportation as described herein.

109. A failure to file this action will result in the unlawful exercise of authority by the

State Superintendent in matters concerning student assignment and attendance zones, student

admission, and student transportation that Alabama law vests in the authority of the Baldwin

County Board of Education.

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WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education,

respectfully moves this Honorable Court to enter a declaratory judgment relative to the rights and

privileges of the Plaintiffs under §§ 16-4-4 and 16-4-8 of the Code of Alabama ( 197 5) and grant

any additional and further relief that the Plaintiffs may be entitled to in this cause, including, but

not limited to:

(a) A specific declaration that §§ 16-4-4 and 16-4-8, does not include the
authority to exercise the powers and authority which the Legislature has
specifically conferred upon boards.

(b) A specific declaration that the Legislature has specifically conferred upon
local boards of education the authority to place, assign, and transfer pupils
from one public school to another public school;

(c) A specific declaration that the Legislature has specifically conferred upon
local boards of education the authority to regulate admission of students to
their schools;

(d) A specific declaration that the Legislature has conferred upon local boards
of education the authority to direct and control the transportation of
students to and from public schools;

(e) A specific declaration that the State Superintendent lacks the authority to
issue directives regarding student assignments, student admissions, and
student transportation;

(f) A specific declaration that any final decision made by the State
Superintendent under Alabama Code (1975) §§ 16-4-4 or 16-4-8, that
includes a directive regarding student assignments, student admissions,
and student transportation is null and void;

(g) Injunctive relief on behalf of the Plaintiffs ordering that the State
Superintendent's final decision regarding student assignments, student
admission, and student transportation shall have no full force and effect
until such time as this controversy can be resolved either by agreement of
the parties or by further Order of this Honorable Court; and

(h) Any and all further and different relief to which the Plaintiffs maybe
entitled to in this cause.

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COUNT IV

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

ENFORCEMENT OF ALA. CODE § 16-4-4 and § 16-4-8 in relation to

SCHOOL PERSONNEL

110. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

109 as if fully set forth herein.

111. On or about February 5, 2019, the State Superintendent issued what he has

designated as his "final decision" in connection with the separation of the Gulf Shores City

school system from the Baldwin County Board of Education.

112 The State Superintendent includes therein provisions purporting to govern the

assignment of personnel under certain circumstances.

113. Specifically, the State Superintendent has included the following: "In addition to

transfer requests, normal attrition through retirements, resignations, and non-renewals may

alleviate some pressure for teacher limits and personnel. With respect to Gulf Shores Middle and

High schools only, after choice and normal attrition, if there remains a statistical disparity

between the pro rata shares assigned to either the CITY BOARD or the COUNTY BOARD, the

teachers shall be awarded their school system of choice in order of seniority until the respective

pro rata shares are achieved. Seniority shall be defined by total amount of years consecutively

employed with the COUNTY BOARD. Any other remaining personnel not contemplated herein

shall be treated as addressed above. In the event transfer requests and normal attrition does not

rectify the statistical disparity between the pro rata shares of teachers between the two Boards by

April 1, 2019, the process for allowing choice by seniority shall begin no later than April 15,

2019. The State Superintendent lacks authority to take the foregoing action."

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114. While the State Superintendent operates under certain general grants of authority,

such as Alabama Code (1975) §§ 16-4-4 and 16-4-8, he lacks authority to take the specific

actions set forth in the preceding paragraph, as those specific grants of authority, in this instance,

are vested in the Baldwin County Board of Education.

115. It is a well settled principle of law that the more specific grant of authority

controls over the more general grant of authority.

116. In this area, the Alabama Legislature has specifically defined and designated the

responsibilities of a county board of education in regards to personnel management. For

example, in Alabama Code (1975) § 16-1-30(b), the Legislature provided that a county board of

education shall determine its own written educational policy for the board and its employees and

"shall prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct and management of schools."

117. Further, under Alabama Code ( 197 5) § 16-8-8, a county board of education is

vested with the "general administration and supervision of schools in its county." Specifically,

under Alabama Code (1975) § 16-8-23, a county board of education is vested with the authority

to "appoint, upon the written recommendation of the county superintendent, all principals,

teachers, clerical and professional assistants authorized by the board . . . [and to] suspend or

dismiss for immorality, misconduct in the office, ... or whenever, in the opinion of the board, the

best interest of the school require it, superintendents, principals, teachers, or any other

employees ... " Similarly, a county board of education can also reassign and/or transfer teachers

or classified personnel to a different position, school or grade if the board determines a transfer is

needed, and the legislature also specifically provides that certain teachers and personnel have a

right to contest the board's decision by a hearing before the board. See Alabama Code (1975) §§

16-24C-7 & 16-24C-8.

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118. The Alabama State Board of Education has further limited the State

Superintendent's Authority under Ala. Admin. Code. § 290-1-2-.03. Specifically, in accordance

with his authority to review actions of county boards, the State Board of Education has provided

that the State Superintendent "shall not have the authority to review actions and orders of county

and city boards of education or county superintendents of education and city superintendents of

schools in personnel matters." (emphasis added).

119. In addition, Ala. Admin. Code § 290-1-2-.03 provides that the State

Superintendent may review "actions and orders in personnel matters," but only upon a "finding

by the Statute Superintendent, made after investigation, that exigent circumstances affecting the

education and education interest of the affected board require the State Superintendent's

intervention in such matters." In addition, "any such finding by the State Superintendent, and an

explanation of the basis for the finding, shall be submitted to the State Board of Education

forthwith upon its issuance."

120. Assuming arguendo that the foregoing Administrative Code provision is lawful,

the exception is extremely limited and unavailable in the instant circumstance because there has

been no personnel action or order, and none of the remaining prerequisites have been satisfied.

121. Courts have also found that there is no authority granted to the State

Superintendent to review matters pertaining to assigning a teacher from one school to another,

because that authority is specifically granted to the local board under state statute. See Weaver

v. Madison City Bd. ofEduc., 947 F. Supp. 2d 1308, 1322-23 (N.D. Ala. 2013).

122. The Alabama Attorney General has also rendered an opinion on point, that

provides: "unless an agreement is reached regarding personnel that decides otherwise, staff

members in the newly formed city systems will remain with that system in order not to

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jeopardize their positions." 1992 WL 535509.

123. Finally, Alabama Code (1975) § 16-24C-4(e) further demonstrates that the default

rule that applies in the absence of agreement is that that employees will remain with the newly

formed school (i.e., "employees whose employer changes by virtue of ... district formation ...

shall retain tenure or nonprobationary status and service credit attained by virtue of employment

with the predecessor employer").

124. There exists a justiciable controversy between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and Defendant Mackey and Gulf Shores City Board concerning the Baldwin County

Board of Education's right to determine matters related to the management of personnel.

125. This Honorable Court possesses jurisdiction under the laws of the State of

Alabama to issue a declaratory judgment with respect to the rights privileges and entitlements of

the parties relative to the respective authority of the parties related to the management of

personnel as described herein.

126. A failure to file this action will result in the unlawful exercise of authority by the

State Superintendent in matters concerning personnel that Alabama law vests in the authority of

the Baldwin County Board of Education.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education

prays that this Honorable Court to enter a declaratory judgment and grant any additional and

further relief that the Plaintiff may be entitled to in this cause, including, but not limited to:

(a) A specific declaration that the State Superintendent lacks the authority to
create, impose or order a seniority-based selection process for personnel as
set forth in the State Superintendent's final decision;

(b) A specific declaration that the State Superintendent's final decision, is null
and void to the extent that it purports to create, impose or order a seniority
based selection process for personnel;

(c) Injunctive relief on behalf of the Plaintiff Ordering that the April 1, 2019

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and April 15, 2019 deadlines contained in Paragraph 3(A) of the State
Superintendent's final decision be held in abeyance until such time as this
controversy can be resolved either by agreement of the parties or by
further Order of this Honorable Court; and,

(d) Any and all further and different relief to which the Plaintiffs maybe
entitled to in this cause.

COUNTV

WRIT OF MANDAMUS

127. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

126 as if fully set forth herein.

128. Plaintiff alleges that Mackey acted willfully, knowingly, maliciously, in bad faith,

beyond his authority, and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law and is not immune from

civil action.

129. Defendant Mackey does not have the authority, under Alabama Code (1975) §§

16-4-4 and 16-4-8 to unilaterally order the Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into the

Agreement, specifically to order the Baldwin County Board of Education to agree to the terms

outlined in Counts I through IV.

130. The general supervision statutes do not give carte blanche authority to the State

Superintendent. Instead, the statutes allow the State Superintendent to take action only after

certain prerequisites have occurred, only as outlined by the State Department of Education

regulations, and when such authority has not been specifically granted by the Legislature to the

local boards.

131. Mackey's acts and omissions, as set forth in Count I, were in error and contrary to

the statutes, arbitrary, beyond their authority and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law.

As a matter oflaw, the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to all Foundation Program

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funding through the end of the current fiscal year, being September 30, 2019.

132. Mackey's acts and omissions, as set forth in Count II, were in error and contrary

to the statutes, arbitrary, beyond their authority and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law.

As a matter oflaw, the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to the distribution of Sales

Tax revenue through the end ofthe current fiscal year, being September 30, 2019.

133. Mackey's acts and omissions, as set forth in Count Ill, were in error and contrary

to the statutes, arbitrary, beyond their authority and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law.

As a matter of law, the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to contract for and/or

make its own decisions regarding student attendance zones, student assignment, student

admission, and student transportation.

134. In addition, Mackey has acted outside his authority under Alabama Code (1975) §

16-4-8 and failed to follow the State Board of Education's promulgated rules and regulations

regarding Mackey's authority to review matters under § 16-4-8. Specifically, the State

Superintendent intervened in this matter prior to any actions, orders, or agreements being entered

into by either the Baldwin County Board of Education or the Gulf Shores City Board.

135. Further, under the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the State Board of

Education at Ala. Admin. Code §§ 290-1-2-.05, "upon a determination that a review of an

action" is required, the State Superintendent shall, state the reasons for the review, conduct an

investigation to obtain all relevant facts regarding the reasons for the review, report the results of

the review to the affected party, review a written response by the county board of education,

make a final order not later than ten work days after the receipt of the response, and issue a final

order no later than (90) calendar days after the affected party has been notified of a proposed

review.

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136. As argued above and below, assummg arguendo that the review rules and

regulations are authorized under the laws of the State of Alabama, the State Superintendent has

failed to follow the procedural requirements for conducting a review of actions or orders of a

local board. He has never given notice to either of the local boards that he has determined that a

review is required. He has never stated the reasons for any review. He has not conducted any

investigation to obtain all relevant facts, and his directives have been issued well beyond the

ninety calendar day timeline.

137. For the foregoing reasons, the Baldwin County Board of Education seeks a Writ

of Mandamus to compel Mackey to comply with state laws and/or the State Board of

Education's own applicable policies and procedures regarding investigation of Board actions and

orders, assuming that such an investigation is proper and authorized under the law.

138. Writ of mandamus is proper as the Baldwin County Board of Education a clear

right to the relief sought; further there is no adequate remedy, and the Baldwin County Board of

Education has properly invoked the jurisdiction of this Court. Mandamus is appropriate

directing Mackey to follow the law as herein requested.

139. Mackey, by his acts and omissions, has failed to follow the non-discretionary

mandated applicable statutes and regulations imposed upon him by law.

140. Mackey has failed to comply with the law, as well as his own rules, practices,

policies, and procedure with regard to the Baldwin County Board of Education, thereby acting

wrongfully and in violation of the laws of the State of Alabama by attempting to direct and order

the Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into a settlement agreement regarding

September Payroll, the distribution of Sales Tax revenues, student assignment, and student

transportation.

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141. The acts of Mackey toward the Baldwin County Board of Education, as alleged in

this Complaint, were not in accordance with the laws of the State of Alabama.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education

prays that a Writ of Mandamus be issued by this Court directed to Defendant Mackey,

commanding him to forthwith:

(a) Comply with the laws of the State and Alabama and the State Board of
Education's own applicable policies and procedures;

(b) Recognize that the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to


receive all Sales Tax revenue and Foundation Program funding through
the end of the current fiscal year, being September 30, 2019;

(c) Allow the Baldwin County Board of Education to make its own decisions
regarding student assignment, student admission and student
transportation;

(d) Set this matter for hearing on preliminary injunctive relief and grant such
relief as is proper; and

(e) Provide the Baldwin County Board of Education with such other, further
and different relief as may be just and proper, including the cost of this
action.

COUNT VI

MANDAMUS ON ACTIONS UNDER §§ 16-4-4 AND 16-4-8 REGARDING PERSONNEL

142. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

141 as if fully set forth herein.

143. Plaintiff alleges that Mackey acted willfully, knowingly, maliciously, in bad faith,

beyond his authority, and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law and is not immune from

civil action.

144. Mackey's acts and omissions, as set forth in Count IV, were in error and contrary

to the statutes, arbitrary, beyond their authority and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law.

As a matter of law, the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to contract for and/or

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DOCUMENT 2

make its own decisions regarding matters pertaining to personnel.

145. In addition, Mackey has failed to follow the rules and regulations promulgated by

the State Board of Education in intervening and issuing directives regarding personnel.

Specifically, Ala. Admin. Code § 290-1-2-.03 states that the State Superintendent may only

"review such actions and orders in personnel matters upon a finding by the State Superintendent,

made after investigation, that exigent circumstances affecting the education and education

interest of the affected board require the State Superintendent's intervention in such matters." In

addition, "any such finding by the State Superintendent, and an explanation of the basis of the

finding, shall be submitted to the State Board of Education upon its issuance."

146. Put another way, in matters pertaining to personnel, the authority of the State

Superintendent is directly tied to, and limited to specific issues: "exigent circumstances affecting

the education and education interest of the affected board," and under a specific process where

an investigation and findings are to occur, with submission of those findings to the State Board

of Education.

14 7. As argued above, Mackey intervened in this matter prior to any acts from either of

the local boards. In addition, he has continued to issue directives regarding personnel matters,

without providing any explanation as to what legal authority exists for him to intervene on

matters of personnel. In contravention to the State Board of Education's own rules and

procedures, Mackey has not submitted his finding, or an explanation thereof, regarding the

exigent circumstances to the State Board of Education.

148. For the foregoing reasons, the Baldwin County Board of Education seeks a Writ

of Mandamus to compel Mackey to comply with state laws, and/or the State Board of

Education's own applicable policies and procedures regarding investigation of Board actions and

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orders pertaining to personnel.

149. Writ of mandamus is proper as the Baldwin County Board of Education has a

clear right to the relief sought; further there is no adequate remedy, and the Baldwin County

Board of Education has properly invoked the jurisdiction of this Court. Mandamus 1s

appropriate directing the Defendant Mackey to follow the law as herein requested.

150. Defendant Mackey, by his acts and omissions, has failed to follow the non-

discretionary mandated applicable statutes and regulations imposed upon him by law.

151. Mackey has failed to comply with the statutes, as well as his own rules, practices,

policies, and procedure with regard to the Baldwin County Board of Education, thereby acting

wrongfully and in violation of the laws of the State of Alabama by attempting to direct and order

the Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into a settlement agreement regarding personnel

Issues.

152. The acts of Mackey toward the Baldwin County Board of Education, as alleged in

this Complaint, were not in accordance with the laws of the State of Alabama.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Baldwin County Board of Education

prays that a Writ of Mandamus be issued by this Court directed to Defendant Mackey,

commanding him to forthwith:

(a) Comply with the laws of the State and Alabama and the State Board of
Education's own applicable policies and procedures;

(b) Allow the Baldwin County Board of Education to make its own decisions
regarding personnel;

(c) Set this matter for hearing on preliminary injunctive relief and grant such
relief as is proper; and

(d) Provide the Baldwin County Board of Education with such other, further
and different relief as may be just and proper, including the cost of this
action.

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COUNT VII

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

153. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

152 as if fully set forth herein.

154. There exists a justiciable controversy between the Baldwin County Board of

Education and Mackey concerning Mackey's right to order that the Baldwin County Board of

Education take the above described actions. This Court has jurisdiction of this Count under the

laws of the state of Alabama.

155. Mackey has a legal and/or ministerial duty to comply with all applicable state

laws.

156. Mackey, by his acts and omissions has failed to follow the non-discretionary

applicable statutes and policies imposed upon him by the law and by the Alabama State

Department of Education.

157. Mackey has failed to comply with the statutes, as well as the State Board of

Education's own rules, practices, policies and procedures regarding his above directives, thereby

acting wrongfully and in violation of the laws of the State of Alabama by attempting to order the

Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into a settlement agreement regarding the above

terms outlined in Counts I through IV.

158. Mackey's acts and omissions, as set forth in this Complaint, were in error and

contrary to the statutes, arbitrary, beyond his authority, and/or under a mistaken interpretation of

the law. As a matter of law, the Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to the 2018-2019

Foundation funds, is entitled to all Sales Tax revenue based on the fiscal calendar year, is entitled

to determine and agree to its own terms regarding student attendance zones, student admission,

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DOCUMENT 2

student transportation, and personnel.

159. Defendant Mackey's willful violation of this duty will cause irreparable damage

to the Baldwin County Board of Education.

160. The Baldwin County Board of Education seeks injunctive relief to prevent

Defendant Mackey from seeking any enforcement recourse against the Baldwin County Board of

Education and/or the Baldwin County Board of Education's Superintendent Mr. Eddie Tyler.

161. The harm to the Baldwin County Board of Education outweighs any potential

harm to Defendants and granting an injunction will not constitute a disservice to the public's

interest.

WHEREFORE, the above considered, the Baldwin County Board of Education request

that upon a hearing of this matter the Court will enter injunctive relief providing:

(a) That Mackey has failed to comply with the State Board of Education's
applicable policies and procedures.

(b) That Mackey has acted outside his authority and failed to follow the
statutes and laws of the State of Alabama.

(c) That Mackey be prevented from seeking any enforcement recourse of his
final order against the Baldwin County Board of Education and the
Baldwin County Board of Education's Superintendent, Mr. Eddie Tyler.

(d) That the Baldwin County Revenue Commissioner shall distribute all
Foundation moneys for 2018-2019 school year to the Baldwin County
Board of Education through the end of the fiscal year- September 30,
2018.

(e) That the Baldwin County Commission shall distribute all Sales Tax
revenue to the Baldwin County Board of Education in accordance with the
fiscal year.

(f) That the Baldwin County Board of Education be allowed to exercise their
authority to determine and agree to their own terms regarding student
attendance zones, student admission, student transportation, and
personnel.

(g) Set this matter for hearing on preliminary injunctive relief and grant such

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DOCUMENT 2

relief as is proper.

(h) Such other, further and different relief as may be just and proper,
including costs of this action.

COUNT VIII

WRITOFCERT

162. The Plaintiff hereby adopts and incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through

161 as if fully set forth herein.

163. It is well settled that decisions of governmental boards and governmental officers

(check) are subject to judicial review by a petition for a writ of certiorari. Alexander v. Dothan

City Board ofEduc., 891 So.2d 323, 326 (Ala. Civ. App. 2004).

164. The Baldwin County Board of Education contends that Defendant Mackey acted

ultra vires by attempting to order the Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into the

Agreement as outlined in Counts I through IV.

165. Defendant Mackey alleges that he has the power to act under the laws of the State

of Alabama in all matters contained herein, but he has failed to demonstrate that he has any

authority to divest the Baldwin County Board of Education of its property right and statutory

authority to enter into agreements, to receive Foundation funds and tax revenue as outlined in the

law, and to determine student attendance zones, student admission, student assignment, student

transportation and personnel issues.

166. It is therefore proper to review the legality of the proceedings regarding Mackey's

review, "investigation," and directives to the Baldwin County Board of Education.

167. The Baldwin County Board of Education respectfully requests that this Honorable

Court will issue a writ of certiorari and review Defendant Mackey's decision to order the

Baldwin County Board of Education to enter into the above described agreement.

38
DOCUMENT 2

168. Because Defendant Mackey has acted willfully, knowingly, maliciously, in bad

faith, beyond his authority, and/or under a mistaken interpretation of the law, he is not immune

from suit.

WHEREFORE, the above considered, the Baldwin County Board of Education

respectfully requests that this Honorable Court accept this complaint for a writ of certiorari, to

review the decision, actions, and/or statements of the Defendant Mackey and determine that:

(a) The Baldwin County Board of Education is entitled to the relief described
above in the preceding paragraphs, including without limitation the
reversal of Defendant Mackey's directive ordering the Baldwin County
Board of Education to enter into the unlawful agreement since it is
arbitrary, not authorized in the law, based upon an error or mistaken
interpretation of the law, and/or not supported by the evidence in this
cause; and

(b) The Baldwin County Board of Education further prays that they be
awarded any other and further relief as well as any other orders and
judgments to which they may be entitled under the facts set out above,
including an award of costs.

Respectfully submitted, this the 151h day of February, 2019.

Is/ Don Beebe


DON BEEBE (BEE004)
FRANK TAYLOR (TAY016)

OF COUNSEL:

The Atchison Firm, P.C.


3030 Knollwood Drive
Mobile, AL 36693
(251) 665-7200- Telephone
(251) 665-7250 - Facsimile
Don.Beebe@atchisonlaw.com
frank.taylor@atchisonlaw.com

39
DOCUMENT 2

DEFENDANTS ARE TO BE SERVED VIA-CERTIFIED MAIL TO:

Dr. Eric Mackey


State Superintendent of Education
Alabama State Department of Education
P.O. Box 302101

Gulf Shores City Board of Education


P.O. Box 3908
Gulf Shores, AL 36547

Baldwin County Commission


c/o The Honorable Charles F. Gruber, Chairman
312 Courthouse Square, Suite 12
Bay Minette, Alabama 36507

40
DOCUMENT 3
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK

Exhibit 1
DOCUMENT 3

STATE OF ALABAMA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Erie G. Mackey, Ed. D.


State Superintendent of Education

Alabama
State Board
December 20, 2018
of Educatto.n

Mr. Carl Edward Tyler, Jr. Dr. Matt Akin


Governor Klly lvey
President Superintendent Superintendent
Baldwin County School System Gulf Shores City School System
2600-A North Hand Avenue P.O. Box 3908
.,J.aokle ~lgler
District I
Bay Minette, AL 36507-4180 Gulf Shores, AL 36547

Dear Mr. Tyler and Dr. Akin:

Attached to this correspondence you will find my preliminary decision(s) related to


the separation issues between the Gulf Shores Board of Education (GSBE) and
Stephanie Bell
the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE). I wish to express my appreciation
Olatriet !II
to you, your board members, and your legal teams for joining us in Montgomery on
Monday afternoon, December 14, 2018, to discuss these important issues. I also
thank you for the many open, candid, and informative conversations that we have
YvWte U. Rlchard601l, Ed.D.
""'""'IV had over the past several months related to the separation.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not express my disappointment in the delayed


Ella B. 6eB
016trtctV proceedings and lack of complete communications. I met with both of you and
your legal counselors on July 25, 2018 and laid out a timeline, making it very clear
that a final settlement was to be signed and executed by December 14, 2018. As
Cynthia Mcrcarty, Pll.O.
DistriCt VI
that day drew near it became apparent that only through the direct intervention of
VLce Presldonl
the Alabama State Department of Education would we be able to move forward,
weeks behind the established timeline. I was further disappointed to discover that
relevant correspondence had passed back and forth between counsel without any
Joff-
Dill'trict VII
President ProTem
notice or copies provided to myself or my legal representatives. Again, I thought
that I had made it perfectly clear that Anna Davis with the firm Adams and Reese
was to be included in all such correspondence. Even though those
Mal)' Scott Hl.llltar, J.D. correspondences were referred to multiple times on Monday afternoon, I could not
Dlstr1ctVHI
even obtain copied of them until the next morning. Obviously, I was not clear
enough.
Eric G. Mackey, Ed.D.
SeOJetii.'Y •nd
Exec:lltive Officer
Therefore, as we move into the final decision-making and settlement phase, I trust
that you will make it extremely clear to your respective counselors that they will be
timely and open with all communication. I will tolerate no further delays, and you
are hereby instructed to notify your counselors that Ms. Davis is to be copied on all
correspondence back and forth between them related to this separation.

GORDON PERSONS BU!UMNO • P.O. BOX 302101 • :v!ONTGOMBRY, ALAOAMA 36130-2101 • l'ELEPHONI'. (334) 694-4900 • FAX (334) 694-4990 • Wrm S!TIJ.: www.aJsde.edu
DOCUMENT 3

Mr. Carl Edward Tyler. Jr.


Dr. Matt Akin
Page 2
December 20, 2018

Therefore, as we move into the final decision-making and settlement phase, I trust
that you will make it extremely clear to your respective counselors that they will be
timely and open with all communication. I will tolerate no further delays, and you
are hereby instructed to notify your counselors that Ms. Davis is to be copied on all
correspondence back and forth between them related to this separation.

Any response to the attached preliminary decision should be addressed to me and


copied to Ms. Davis as well as my General Counsel, Jason Swann, no later than
5 p.m. January 8, 2019. You should further inform your respective board members
that there will be no further delay and that they will make any and all efforts
necessary to complete the final settlement agreement on or before January 18,
2019, as originally established by Interim State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson.

In a related matter, I have received some phone calls expressing concerns that
other cities in Baldwin County might be watching these events closely, in
anticipation that they might also consider a separation. As any city officials
considering such may contact either of you, I feel compelled to address that issue
in this letter. Even though the Department takes no stance-either pro or con-in
regard to new city school systems, any city considering the formation of its own
system should proceed with utmost caution and clarity. In this particular case, the
city government of Gulf Shores will have had to front all start-up, planning, and
administrative costs for approximately 18 months and will operate the schools with
no real property ad valorem tax receipts for its first full semester. Through the first
half of 2019, they will continue to front major start-up costs. As others may contact
you, I hope that you will convey to them that no such separation should be
undertaken lightly or without serious deliberation and commitment to the financial
investment necessary prior to any actions taken.

Thank you for your leadership and service.

Sincerely,

~~y
Eric G. Mackey
State Superintendent of Education

cc: Mr. Andy Craig, Deputy State Superintendent for Finance and
Administration
Mr. J. Jason Swann, General Counsel
Mrs. Jackie Zeigler, State Board of Education Member, District 1
DOCUMENT 3

Preliminary Decision(s)
Related to the Separation Issues Between the
Gulf Shores Board of Education
and the Baldwin County Board of Education

The Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE) and the Gulf Shores Board of Education
(GSBE) have asked me to consider the outstanding matters regarding their imminent separation
and to render a final decision of separation issues. I truly appreciate the candor and insight provided
in various interactions with each of the local superintendents and board counselors. Through your
cooperative efforts over the past few months we have been able to identify each parties' relative
positions, resolve some pertinent issues and to identify the remaining ones. The remaining
separation issues, in broad terms, are:

I. How will current Gulf Shores students be treated with respect to attendance status for the
2019-20 school year and how will Foundation Program funding for FY20 be established?

2. How will personnel currently assigned to Gulf Shores Middle and High School be
selected/assigned for the 2019-20 school year? (It is understood that current personnel at
Gulf Shores Elementary School will stay at GSES w1less they resign or request a transfer,
consistent with existing employee transfer policies, to another BCBE school)

3. When will the Gulf Shores Board assume responsibility for the general administration and
supervision of the Gulf Shores schools? (i.e. official separation date)

4. When will the County-wide taxes begin to be allocated, apportioned, and distributed
between the BCBE and the GSBE?

5. How will September 2019 payroll for personnel currently employed by BCBE and assigned
to GSBE be addressed?

In accordance with the authority granted to the State Superintendent pursuant to Alabama Code
§ 16--4--8 and other applicable Jaw, and pursuant to my thorough review of submitted documents,
including in depth input from the parties herein, this document shall outline what I have determined
to be the immediate and binding resolutions necessary for the 2019/2020 school yeru· to facilitate
an implementation plan that will ensure the long-term success of both school systems. The
decisions rendered herein are based solely on what I have determined to be in the best interest of
the students, parents, teachers, and communities involved in the separation.
DOCUMENT 3

Binding Resolutions:

Question One:

How will current Gulf Shores students be treated with respect to attendance status for
the 2019-20 school year and how will Foundation Program funding for FY20 be
establislled?

FUNDING:

For purposes of the FY20 Foundation Program allocation and all allocations foJlowing
that distribution formula as prescribed by law, the following assignments shall be utilized .
based on the enrollment as of the 2018-19 Average Daily Membership Report (ADM):

• GSBE:
o All K-8 students who reside within the corporate limits of Town of Gulf
Shores
o All rising tenth grade students who choose to remain at Gulf Shores High
School
o All high school students, no matter their residence
• BCBE:
o All K-6 students in Orange Beach Elementary School who do not reside
with the corporate limits of the Town of Gulf Shores
o All 7-8 students in Gulf Shores Middle School, but who reside outside the
corporate limits of the Town of Gulf Shores
o All rising tenth grade students who choose to attend Orange Beach High
School

o For FY 21 and beyond, calculations shall be made based on prior year attendance in
accordance with standard State Department of Education practices and policy.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

• Fall 2019 all eleventh and twelfth grade students in both Gulf Shores and
Orange Beach will be assigned to Gulf Shores High School.

• Fall2019 Kindergarten through rising ninth grade students;


o Kindergarten through rising ninth grade students residing within the
corporate limits of the Town of Gulf Shores will attend GSBE schools.
o Kindergarten through rising ninth grade students residing outside the
corporate limits of the Town of Gulf Shores shall attend BCBE schools as
assigned by the BCBE.

2
DOCUMENT 3

o Rising tenth grade students who reside outside the corporate limits of the
Town of Gulf Shores will be given their choice of attending Gulf Shores
High School or another high school option provided by the BCBE
o Nothing in this section shall prevent either board of education from
establishing out-of-district attendance policies including but not limited to
the attendance of younger siblings of said students referenced herein.

Question Two

How will personnel currently assigned to Gulf Shores Middle and High School be
selected/assigned for the 2019-20 school year?

Due to the reshuffling of student attendance zones, all three Gulf Shores schools
will have reduced teacher units for the 2019-20 school year, and will need to reduce other
school personnel accordingly. As much as is practicable, teachers and personnel should be
given the opportunity to choose whether to continue working in the Gulf Shores schools or
to continue employment with BCBE.

o Any teachers or other personnel currently employed in the Gulf Shores


schools who wish to continue employment with BCBE shall request a
transfer to another school subject to BCBE policy.
o In addition to transfer requests, natural attrition through retirements,
resignations, and non-renewals will alleviate some pressure for teacher units
and other personnel.
o After choice and natural attrition, if there remains a statistical disparity
between the pro rata shares assigned to either the GSBE or the BCBE, the
teachers shall be awarded their school system of choice in order of seniority
until the respective pro rata shares are achieved.
o Any other remaining personnel not contemplated herein shall be treated as
addressed above.
o Any employment contract involving Principals as of the date of this document shall
be honored by the BCBE consistent with all the tetms and conditions of said
contracts.
o GSBE will be responsible to select and·contract with its own principals.

3
DOCUMENT 3

Question Three:

When will the Gulf Shores Board assume responsibility for the general administration
and supervision of tlte GulfSlwres schools? (i.e. official separation date)

The GSBE shall assume full legal responsibility for the general administration and
supervision of the Gulf Shores Schools beginning June 1, 2019.

Question Four:

When will the County-wide taxes begin to be allocated, apportioned, and distributed
between the BCBE and the GSBE?

(I) Ad valorem taxes. Beginning October 1, 2019, the net proceeds of ad valorem taxes
levied countywide by the Baldwin County Commission on property situated in Baldwin
County shall be allocated, apportioned and distributed between the BCBE and the GSBE
as directed by State law; presently section 16-l3-3l(b) of the Code of Alabama 1975
provides that the allocation, apportionment and distribution of countywide taxes shall be
on the basis on which Foundation Program moneys are allocated, apportioned and
distributed within the County. Beginning October I, 2019, the net proceeds of district ad
valorem taxes levied by the Baldwin County Commission on property situated within the
Gulf Shores School Tax District (the boundaries of which are coterminous with the
corporate limits of the City of Gulf Shores) shall be paid to the GSBE.

(2) Sales and Use Taxes. Commencing June I, 2019, the next proceeds of sales and use
taxes levied countywide for school purposes in Baldwin County shall be apportioned
monthly to the BCBE and the GSBE on the same basis as Foundation Program moneys are
allocated, apportioned and distributed within the County.

Question Five:

How will September 2019 payroll for personnel currently employed by BCBE and
assigned to Gulf Shores GSBE be addressed handled?

The ALSDE will divide the Foundation Program allocation, assigning to GSBE its pro rata
share based on FY20 calculations.

Any issues not specifically addressed or fully resolved herein shall


remain in the full legal purview of the State Superintendent of
Education as provided by law.

4
DOCUMENT 3

Precedential Effect on Other City School Board Separations

This decision is not intended to have any precedential effect on other city school
board separations. To the contrary, each city school board separation presents unique
challenges and issues and should be evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

5
DOCUMENT 4
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK

Exhibit 2
DOCUMENT 4

STATE OF ALABAMA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Eric G. Mackey, Ed.D.


State Superintendent of Education

Alabama Februaty 5, 2019


Stllll Board
of Education

Govomor Kay lvey


President
Mr. Carl Edward Tyler, Jr., Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin, Superintendent
Baldwin County Board of Education Gulf Shores City Board of Education
2600 North Hand Avenue P. 0. Box 3908
Jackie Zeigler Bay Minette, AL 36507 Gulf Shores, AL 36547
District l

Dear Mr. Tyler and Dr. Akin:


Tracie West
District U
Last month, on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, I sent a proposed settlement agreement
that included my decisions on previously unresolved matters to you in hopes that both
Stephanie Bell
Boards would execute a separation agreement in the suggested form. However, I was
District 1!1 informed by Mr. Tyler by letter on January 28, 2019, that the County Board would not
do so.
Yvette M. Richardson, Ed.O.
District IV Therefore, in order to resolve this matter, please find attached my fmal and binding
decision related to the disputed separation issues between the two respective Boards. I
expect your Boards to incorporate the determinations from this document into a final
Ella B. Bell
DiWict V
agreement. I believe expedient action will serve the best interests of the public school
students in Baldwin County and Gulf Shores.

cynthia McCart)', Ph.D. Please note the deadline provision in my final decision requires your response no later
District VI
Vice President than February 15,2019.

Sincerely,

~~/J-vv\~
Jeff Newman
District VII
Presldenl ProTem

Woyne Reynolds, Ed.D.


Eric G. Mackey
OiilrictVII! State Superintendent of Education

EGM:LAK
Eric G. Mackey, Ed.O.
Secretary and
Executive Officer
Attachment

GORDON PERSONS BIJtLDI"(; • p_o Hox .\02!01 • MOt>.TGOMERY, AlAIJAMA 36!30-2101 • TElEPIIONE{334} 694-4900 • FAX (334) 694-4990 • WEB SIH: W\IW.a]sde_cUu
DOCUMENT 4

FINAL DECISION RELATED TO THE SEPARATION ISSUES BETWEEN THE GULF


SHORES CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE BALDWIN COUNTY BOARD OF
EDUCATION

The Baldwin County Board of Education (the "COUNTY BOARD") exercises general
administration and supervision of all public schools lying within Baldwin County, including such
public schools lying within the City of Gulf Shores, Alabama (the "City"). On October 9, 2017,
in accordance with Ala. Code §§ 16-11-1 et seq., the Gulf Shores City Council established the
Gulf Shores City Board of Education (the "CITY BOARD") and voted to separate from the
Baldwin County School System. Although the CITY BOARD and the COUNTY BOARD have
attempted to negotiate an agreement pertaining to issues presented and identified by the
impending separation, no agreement has been reached by the parties.

Thus, I have rendered a fmal decision on disputed issues between the COUNTY BOARD and the
CITY BOARD in accordance with my authority under Alabama law. The disputed issues on
which I have rendered a final, binding decision are as follows:

1. The date that the CITY BOARD shall assume responsibility for the general
administration and supervision of Gulf Shores City Schools

2. Student Attendance

3. Personnel

4. The proper distribution of Baldwin County's Foundation Program allocation for the
month of September, 2019

5. The date that the countywide sales and use taxes levied pursuant to Alabama Code § 40--
12-4 will begin to be allocated, apportioned, and distributed between the COUNTY
BOARD and the CITY BOARD as directed by Alabama Code§ 16-13-31(b)

In accordance with the authority granted to the State Superintendent pursuant to Alabama
Code § 16-4-4 and other applicable law, and following my thorough review of the issues in
dispute, the relevant documentation, and extensive input from both parties, this document
memorializes and clarifies what I have concluded to be the immediate and binding
determinations necessary to facilitate an implementation plan for the 2019-2020 school year that
will ensure the long-term success of both school systems. The decisions rendered herein are
based solely on what I have determined to be in the best interest of the students, parents,
teachers, and communities involved in the separation.
DOCUMENT 4

DEFINITIONS

The following terms and phrases as used in this Decision shall have the following meanings:

Attendance Zones. Attendance zones shall be determined with reference to municipal


corporate limits and county boundaries.

Gulf Shores City Schools. Gulf Shores Elementary School, Gulf Shores Middle School,
and Gulf Shores High School.

Gulf Shores Students. Those students residing within the corporate limits of the City of
Gulf Shores.

County Schools. Those schools under the general administration and supervision of the
COUNTY BOARD for the 2018-2019 school year, except Gulf Shores Elementary
School, Gulf Shores Middle School, and Gulf Shores High School.

County Students. Students residing in Baldwin County other than Gulf Shores Students.

Students. School-age children eligible to attend grades pre-K-12, including students who
are eligible to attend public school until age 21 under applicable state and/or federal law ..

Gulf Shores Feeder Pattern. The Feeder Pattern that encompasses Gulf Shores
Elementary, Middle, and High Schools as of the 2018-2019 school year.

1. GENERAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF GULF SHORES


CITY SCHOOLS

The CITY BOARD shall assume responsibility for the general personnel, administration,
and supervision of Gulf Shores City Schools and the educational interest of the City
effective June 1, 2019.

The COUNTY BOARD shall adequately maintain, manage, and operate the Gulf Shores
Schools from the date hereof until June 1, 2019, in a manner consistent with the
COUNTY BOARD's prior management of the premises. The COUNTY BOARD shall
act reasonably and in good faith with the CITY BOARD, its Superintendent, and other
City personnel with respect to all reasonable activities undertaken by the CITY BOARD
to assume administration and responsibility for Gulf Shores City Schools on June 1,
2019.

Both the COUNTY BOARD and the CITY BOARD shall work together to achieve the
transactions ordered in this Decision by June I, 2019.

2
DOCUMENT 4

2. STUDENT AlTENDANCE

A. Attendance Zone. The attendance zone for Gulf Shores City Schools shall be the
corporate limits of the City.

B. Gulf Shores Students. All Gulf Shores Students residing in the attendance zone,
defined in Section 2.A above, may attend Gulf Shores City Schools.

C. Out-of-Zone Attendance.

i. Gulf Shores Students. The CITY BOARD shall provide services for all Gulf
Shores Students as of June I, 2019, except as provided otherwise in this
Decision. Gulf Shores Students currently enrolled in various specialized
programs may remain in the County System until completion of their public
school educational program as stated below.

The COUNTY BOARD shall count those Gulf Shores Students who are
currently enrolled in the lB program and who choose to stay enrolled in said
program on the COUNTY BOARD's Average Daily Membership Report
("ADM"). The COUNTY BOARD is responsible for determining if these
students are transported or not. Once the student discontinues or is otherwise
removed from this program, he/she shall forfeit his/her eligibility for this
program.

Those Gulf Shores Students who are currently enrolled in the South Baldwin
Center for Technology and Aviation Center (career technical school) shall be
allowed to attend through graduation. The CITY BOARD will count these
students on its ADM; however, the CITY BOARD shall pay the COUNTY
BOARD a per-pupil cost per semester for what the COUNTY BOARD
expends from local funds on this specialized school. The student count for the
program will be made on the 20th day after the beginning of each semester. If
these students are currently transported, the CITY BOARD shall assume the
responsibility of transporting these students. The COUNTY BOARD shall
identify to the CITY BOARD all students in specialized programs in the Gulf
Shores Feeder Pattern and their grade levels within seven (7) days after receipt
of this Decision.

The Naval JROTC program located at Gulf Shores High School shall remain
at Gulf Shores High School after the separation date and all JROTC
equipment and related resources shall remain in Gulf Shores High School.
County Students currently enrolled in the program may continue to participate
in the program; however, transportation shall not be provided by the CITY
BOARD. The COUNTY BOARD will count County Students enrolled in the
Naval JROTC program on its ADM. Students within the Gulf Shores Feeder
Pattern that are not Gulf Shores Students may participate in the Naval JROTC
program after the separation date.

3
DOCUMENT 4

The CITY BOARD shall provide a virtual school program for its own students
upon separation.

ii. Students/Children of COUNTY BOARD and CITY BOARD Employees.


Excluding students specifically referenced in other sections of this Decision,
the CITY BOARD and the COUNTY BOARD shall establish their own
policies concerning out-of-zone attendance by students who are children of
employees of either the CITY BOARD or the COUNTY BOARD. Neither
Board will be required to accept students who reside outside the system's
Attendance Zone and who are children of employees of the other Board.

iii. Interdistrict Transfer Policy {"Board I.T.P"). Nothing in this Decision shall
prevent either Board from establishing Interdistrict Transfer Policies (also
known as "out-of-district attendance policies").

iv. Baldwin County Students Currently Residing in the Gulf Shores Feeder
Pattern. The immediate removal of certain County Students from Gulf Shores
Schools and certain Gulf Shores Students from Baldwin County Schools is not
in the best interest of students, families, communities, or the respective school
systems, and appropriate measures to ease the transition of students into the
respective school zones is needed and will benefit both Boards and the
students they serve.

All Eleventh and Twelfth grade students residing in the Gulf Shores Feeder
Pattern during the 2019-2021 school years shall attend Gulf Shores High School
until their graduati011 or completion of their public school educational program.
Baldwin County Students currently residing in the Gulf Shores Feeder Pattern
and who will be a member of the 2019-2020 school year Tenth grade class and
who are in compliance with all applicable policies of the COUNTY BOARD
and CITY BOARD shall have the choice to attend Gulf Shores City Schools
through their graduation or through completion of their public school
educational program; provided, however, that such County Students who
withdraw, transfer, move out of or no longer reside in the Gulf Shores Feeder
Pattern, or who otherwise cease attending Gulf Shores City Schools after the
2019-2020 school year will no longer be eligible to attend Gulf Shores City
Schools unless admitted in accordance with and subject to Gulf Shores City
Board of Education Policy. Any Baldwin County Students who wish to attend
-Gulf---8hores--Bity-Bchools-who--currently---reside-in-the--Gulf--Shores--Feeder
Pattern and who will be a member of the 2019-2020 school year Tenth grade
class and who are in compliance with all applicable policies of the COUNTY
BOARD should have declared their intent to attend either the Baldwin County
Schools or Gulf Shores City Schools by February 1, 2019. However, aoy
Student who failed to declare his or her intention as requested shall do so by
March 1, 2019, or such Student shall be considered to have elected to remain in
Gulf Shores City Schools aod shall be counted as such for all State Department

4
DOCUMENT 4

of Education ("SDE") Fiscal Year 2019-2020 financial calculations related to


attendance.

The COUNTY BOARD shall be responsible for transporting the County


Students that attend Gulf Shores City Schools pursuant to this section of this
Decision. The COUNTY BOARD shall receive state transportation funding
referable to said students.
v. Funding Distribution.

For purposes of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Foundation Program allocation


and all allocations following that distribution formula as prescribed by
law, the following assignments shall be utilized based on the enrollment as
of the 2018-2019 ADM:

CITY BOARD:

(a) AlllGndergarten through Eighth grade students who reside


within the corporate limits of the City of Gulf Shores.
(b) All current Ninth grade students and!or rising Tenth grade
students who choose to remain at Gulf Shores High School.
(c) All high school students attending Gulf Shores City
Schools pursuant to this Decision, no matter their
residence.

COUNTY BOARD:

(a) All Kindergarten through Sixth grade students in Orange


Beach Elementary School who do not reside within the
corporate limits of the City of Gulf Shores.
(b) All Seventh and Eighth grade students in Gulf Shores
Middle School, but who reside outside the corporate limits
of the City of Gulf Shores.
(c) All current Ninth grade students and/or rising Tenth grade
students who choose to attend Orange Beach High School.
(d) Any other current County Student not affected by this
Decision.

For Fiscal Year 2020-2021 and thereafter, calculations shall be made


based on prior year attendance in accordance with established State
Department of Education practices and policy.

3. PERSONNEL

A. Emolovment. Due to the necessary readjustment of student attendance zones,


the Gulf Shores City Schools will have reduced teacher units for the 2019-

5
DOCUMENT 4

2020 school year and may need to reduce other school personnel accordingly
prior to June 1, 2019. As much as is practicable, teachers and personnel
should be given the opportunity to choose whether to continue working in
Gulf Shores City Schools or to continue employment with the COUNTY
BOARD.

Any teachers or other personnel currently employed in Gulf Shores City


Schools who wish to continue employment with the COUNTY BOARD shall
request a transfer to another school within Baldwin County subject to
COUNTY BOARD policy.

In addition to transfer requests, normal attrition through retirements,


resignations, and non-renewals may alleviate some pressure for teacher limits
and other personnel. With respect to Gulf Shores Middle and High Schools
only, after choice and normal attrition, if there remains a statistical disparity
between the pro rata shares assigned to either the CITY BOARD or the
COUNTY BOARD, the teachers shall be awarded their school system of
choice in order of seniority until the respective pro rata shares are achieved.
Seniority shall be defined by total amount of years consecutively employed
with the COUNTY BOARD. Any other remaining personnel not
contemplated herein shall be treated as addressed above. In the event transfer
requests and normal attrition does not rectify the statistical disparity between
the pro rata shares of teachers between the two Boards by April 1, 2019, the
process for allowing choice by seniority shall begin no later than April 15,
2019. .

Any employment contract involving Principals employed as of the date of this


Decision shall be honored by the COUNTY BOARD consistent with all the
terms and conditions of said contracts. The CITY BOARD shall select and
contract with its own Principals.

B. Continuing Service Status. The CITY BOARD shall not jeopardize the
continuing service status obtained by any certified teacher or non-
probationary classified employee while employed by the COUNTY BOARD
because of the assumption of responsibility for Gulf Shores Schools. For the
purpose of this section, the time frame for hiring by the CITY BOARD shall
be defined as the beginning of the new City School System until June I, 2019.

C. Terms of Employment.

i. Job Information. The CITY BOARD shall provide job information (salary
and benefits) to any employees expressing an interest in being employed
by the CITY BOARD. The CITY BOARD salary schedule shall provide
salaries at no less than the state minimum salary schedule for the 2019-
2020 school year, plus any increases provided by the State. In no instance
will the salary rate be less than the existing salary of affected personnel.

6
DOCUMENT 4

ii. Responsibilities for Salaries. The COUNTY BOARD shall continue to


pay salaries and benefits of employees whose contracts are assigned to the
CITY BOARD under this Decision for work performed through the end of
the 2018-2019 school year.

D. Itinerant Teachers. Itinerant teachers and support staff who work at both Gulf
Shores City Schools and County Schools outside of the City of Gulf Shores
through the end of the 2018-2019 school year, and whose contract is not
terminated or non-renewed by the COUNTY BOARD, will remain employed
by the COUNTY BOARD unless hired by the CITY BOARD.

4. PAYROLL OBLIGATION OF COUNTY BOARD AND CITY BOARD

Both the COUNTY BOARD and the CITY BOARD operate on an October 1st to
September 30th fiscal year. Funding for employees at Gulf Shores City Schools is
normally provided to the COUNTY BOARD through September 30, 2019. Because the
COUNTY BOARD has and will receive all state and federal funds from the SDE for
Fiscal Year 2018-2019, the COUNTY BOARD would normally be responsible for
funding the payment of salaries and benefits for all state-earned positions and all federal
positions assigned to Gulf Shores City Schools for the remainder of the 2018-2019 Fiscal
Year. For the month of September 2019, the SDE will divide the Foundation Program
allocation to Baldwin County and will apportion and pay over to the CITY BOARD, as
the CITY BOARD's share for that month, an amount determined by the SDE with
reference to an equivalent number of certified positions based on Fiscal Year 2019-2020
ADM calculations and corresponding funding divisors.

5. LOCAL TAXES AND REVENUES

A. Countvwide Ad Valorem Taxes. Beginning October 1, 2019, the net proceeds


of the following ad valorem taxes levied on a countywide basis in Baldwin
County shall be allocated, apportioned, and distributed between the COUNTY
BOARD and the CITY BOARD as directed by State law (presently, Section
16-13-3l(b) of the Code of Alabama of 1975, which provides that the
allocation, apportionment, and distribution of countywide taxes shall be on the
basis on which Foundation Program moneys are allocated, apportioned, and
distributed within the County):

i. the countywide ad valorem tax levied pursuant to Section I of


Amendment No. 3 of the Alabama Constitution, as amended, which is
currently being levied and collected at the rate of three (3 .0) mills;

7
DOCUMENT 4

ii. the countywide ad valorem tax levied pursuant to Amendment No. 202 to
the Alabama Constitution, which is currently being levied and collected at
the rate of one (1.0) mill; and

iii. the cow1tywide ad valorem tax levied pursuant to Amendment No. 162 of
the Alabama Constitution, which is currently being levied and collected at
the rate of five (5.0) mills and the proceeds of which are to be used for
public school purposes.

B. Countywide Sales and Use Taxes. For sales activities and transactions
occurring on or after June 1, 2019, the net proceeds of the privilege, license,
and excise taxes ("Sales and Use Taxes") in Baldwin County exclusively for
public school pwposes pursuant to Section 40-12-4 of the Code of Alabama
1975 as amended, and the ordinances and resolutions of the County
Commission first adopted on December 20, 1988, and is levied at the rate of
two percent (2%) shall be allocated, apportioned, and distributed between the
COUNTY BOARD and the CITY BOARD as directed by the State law
(presently, Section 16-13-31(b) of the Code of Alabama of 1975, which
provides that the allocation, apportionment and distribution of countywide
taxes shall be on the basis on which Foundation Program moneys are
allocated, apportioned, and distributed within the County). On or before June
15, 2019, the SDE will provide instructions with distribution percentages to
the appropriate revenue officials in the County for all distributions made
hereunder prior to the release of the armual instructions for the Fiscal Year
2019-2020.

C. District Ad Valorem Tax. Beginning October 1, 2019, the net proceeds of the
district ad valorem tax levied within the corporate linlits of the City of Gulf
Shores pursuant to Section 2 of Amendment No. 3 to the Alabama
Constitution, which is currently being levied and collected at the rate of three
(3.0) mills, shall be apportioned and distributed to the CITY BOARD.

D. Miscellaneous Revenues~

i. Commencing June 1, 2019, the net revenues from the sale of "Helping
Schools" vehicle tags shall be distributed in accordance with the
applicable provisions of the Code of Alabama (Section 32-6-300 and
Section 32-6-301, which provide that the net proceeds from the sale of
such tags be distributed "... to the school district designated by the
purchaser, or if the purchaser does not make a designation, to the school
district in which the funds were generated, to be used for the purchase of
classroom supplies and equipment for grades K through 12 of the public
schools in the school district").

ii. Commencing June 1, 2019, the net revenues froni. taxes levied either by
the State of Alabama or by Baldwin County on tobacco products, on malt

8
DOCUMENT 4

or brewed beverages and other alcoholic beverages, business license taxes,


the proceeds from pari-mutuel betting in the County, and severance taxes
shall be apportioned between the COUNTY BOARD and the CITY
BOARD on the same basis as the proceeds of the countywide ad valorem
taxes are apportioned (that is, on the same basis as Foundation Program
funds are allocated, apportioned and distributed).

iii. Commencing June I, 2019, the registration fee for manufactured homes
shall be distributed as provided in the Code of Alabama (Section 40-12-
255).

iv. Commencing June 1, 2019, the amounts paid to the COUNTY BOARD
that are derived from payments made to the County in-lieu-of-taxes shall
be apportioned between the COUNTY BOARD and the CITY BOARD on
the same basis as Foundation Program funds are allocated, apportioned,
and distributed.

In addition to the above determinations that are binding on the COUNTY BOARD and
the CITY BOARD by virtue of this Decision, my office has been informed that the parties have
resolved certain additional matters, including, but not limited to the following:

• Conveyance of school property, facilities, and other property, including the


condition of the subject property at conveyance and risk of loss prior to
conveyance
• Pro rata distribution of transportation equipment
• Assumption of debt by the CITY BOARD
• Treatment of local school account fund balances and the child nutrition program
account balance
• Responsibility for utility payments prior to the date of separation

To the extent any of the above issues or any additional issues are not fully resolved by the
parties, such issues remain within the full legal purview of the State Superintendent of Education
as provided by law.

This decision is not intended to have any precedential effect on other city school board
separations. To the contrary, each city school board separation presents unique challenges and
issues and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, I find it necessary, and in the best interest of the students, teachers, staff, and
parents of both school systems, to prevent needless delay in the implementation of this decision
for the 2019-2020 school year. I therefore direct the superintendent for each system to provide
my office with a written response to this decision, to be received by my office no later than
February 15, 2019, in which each superintendent confirms his acceptance of this decision as final
and binding and his commitment to begin implementing this decision immediately. If no written

9
DOCUMENT 4

response confim1ing compliance is received by that date, this office will understand that lack of
response as a refusal to recognize this decision as binding and will proceed accordingly under the
enforcement authority granted by Section 16-4-4 of the Alabama Code.

Done this theql:hday of February, 2019.

~~~
State Superintendent of Education

10
DOCUMENT 5
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK

Exhibit 3
DOCUMENT 5

.---:-
''-~ State of Alabama
f; 'J:Socu•
Department of Education lft \ .
Ed Richardson •
State Superintendent of Education

June 12, 2000

Mr. Bug1111e A. Melton, Mayor


City of Trussville
t;... 'Do.£.~ P. 0. Box 159
Paiclcnt Trussville, Alabama 35173

Dear Mr. Melton:

You requested information on forming a city school s)'lltem. State law provides
9-f~' general guidance for the Cleelion of a city school system with much of the details
?In' I* subject to the negotiation of an agreement between the two school boards.
Oisaia II Therefore, the answers (in italics below) to the following questions you may have
are general information and should not be considered u authoritative.

A. Fulldlng. How would TruSsville fund a system? What funding would


be c:omfng from tbt state and or connty? What perceutage of eddltionsl
rundfng tbould eome from wbtcll various taxes?

Although a city is not required to provide additional local jimds to o city


3chools)'ltem, mOll cilltu dedic:ote a special ad valorem tax or a city tales tax
t>..llolt.;f.Pa./ (or bot/a) for Jchoo/3. These /tlXes allow city 1choou to develop long-n~nge
Dimia V planJ to benefit current IUid foturd tludents. Many cities aUo float bond
usuu for :cAool conJtrvction. Annual clly CI1Uncil approprialionJ also
provide an lmporumt (though not always stable) Jource ofjimds for :c/tools.

A city schoo/1)13/em receivu stale funds from the FOUNDA110N PROGRAM


and other staJe appropriations (with approximately 90% from the
FOUNDA110N PROGRAM). The number ofstudents is the prirnllry fliClor In
determfnlng FOUNDA110N PROGRAM fonds. Each school board 1.!
:Do. '>11M, P- e.,v· required to prtllllde local funds to match FOUNDATION PROGRAM fonds.
OiruierVltl The loCill match is the equivalent of 10 district mflls of local ad valorem tax.
' (The co/lect(on of locol kJXes beyond the required J0 mills has no effect on
FOUNDA110N PROGRAM funds.) The other state appropriations are
designated for capital purchases. at-risk students. school nunu. cit exam
z:>. £< JQ;,Iu<»<
s.a-y..o
Ex.anM Officu
school system is not required to operate a transportation :Jp~ :.
remediolion, preschool students, and student ltf111Jportatlon (although o ·
~ 0VJ ~ ~ ·-

·!\ JUN 1 4 aXlO


·u u
I _,Ia
DOCUMENT 5

( c
Mr. Eugene A. Melton
Page2
]Wle 12, 2000

A city school system is entitled to a shar~ of colilllyWide sales and ad valorem


taxes. Unless loco/ legislation OT on agreement provitkd by Ala. Code§ 16-
13-31 provides otherwise, the school boards share the uzxes based on the
FOUNDATION PROGRAM costs for each school system. Ala. Code§ 16-13-
199 provides that the dirtricJ school tax coT/ected In the city belongs to the city
school system. ·

A new school system would require nart·up funds from the city. The school
year Is July 1 through June 30 and the stole focal year Is OcJober 1 through
September 30. A new school system does not receive 11 monthly
FOUNDATION PROGRAM payment until the end ofOcJober. The city would
most likdy need to provide funds for salaries D.nd school operotions for July
through September as weT/ as any costs prior to July J.

B. Fac:Oftles. Would the tlty system assume the school faclUties in the
city limits or construct new facilities? IC the city system IISSumed the
present facilities would the county system receive auy c:ampensatiou !or
the facilities? IC there is aay ladebtedlless associated with !adlldes
falruess would require that tbe ladebtedlless be IISSUmed also but would
the dty system be lD a posltlou to decline acceptance or any facility?

The transfer of school property Is subject to negotiotion of 011 agreemellt


between the school boards. In most cases classroom buildings In the city
become property of the city school system without remunerotlon. HowBV~T,
the city school system would usuD.I/y be required to make debt pa)'lfients (if
any) on such property.

C. Personnel. Would the city system be required to re!Jiin the personnel


associated with any faciUty?

The retention of school personnel is subject to the negotioted agreement


, between the two school boards (subject to the approVIII of the State
Superintendent of Education). Ala. Code § 16-24-2 states " ... the continuing
service status of teachers ini'Oived in such changes i.r in no way jeopardized."
(Toochers retain tenure.) In the most recent formation ofa city school S)l$tem
all curTent employees of the schools (unless dismissed by the county school
system) were allowed to remain D.t their position unless the employee chose
and was accepted at another assignment in the COWil)' school system.
DOCUMENT 5

c
Mr. Eugene A. Melton
Page 3
June 12, 2000

D. School Dlstrlct. Would tbe city system be able to draw " dlstrlc:t that
Includes all cbUdren attending Trussville schools at tbls time? If tbey are
Included would a property tax earmarked for education countywide go to
tbe system In wblcb tbe property Is located or be dispersed based on
enrollment?

The drawing of tlllendant:e zonu for a city school system for Trussvilk may
have to be decided by the ftu/icial system. Item A. Ful!dlng addresses tloe
distribution ofloco/taxes.

In order to complete a feasibility study for a separate school system tentative


answers to the questions above are needed. Attendance zones would be an
important factor in estimating state funds for a new school system.

This letter is not intended to encourage or discourage the formation of a city


school system in Trussville nor should the answers to your questions be
considered authoritative.

If you need additional information, please let us know.

Sincerely,

R,.h,.r. M~
Robert L. Morton
Assistant State Superintendent
Adminislnitive end Financial Services

RLM/DWH

cc: Dr. Byron B. Nelson, Jr.


\
DOCUMENT 6
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK

Exhibit 4
DOCUMENT 6

p,BAM

.
*•
- .* STATE OF ALABAMA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
. •
~€4T ~~
Thomas R. Blat
State Superintendent or Education

PRELIMINARY DECISION
Alabama
ON THE PETITION FOR ADJUDICATION OF DISPUTED SEPARATION ISSUES
StateBoanl
of EducatiOn JOINTLY SUBMITTED BY THE GARDENDALE CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION
AND THE JEFFERSON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Govern<><
Robert Bentley This document is a not a final determination of the Issues presented. Its purpose is to
Prealdont
solicit the respective views of the two Boards on the resolution proposed in this
document. The Boards' comments in response are due by February 20. 2015. After
AlTho......
District I
considering those comments, this office witt issue a final determination.

The Jefferson County Board of Education and the Gardendale City Board of
Betty Peters
Oleb'fct 11 Education submitted a Joint Petition for Adjudication of Disputed Separation Issues on
November 18, 2014. The issues in dispute, which arise from the withdrawal of the City of
Gardendale from the Jefferson County School System and the concomitant establishment
Stephanie Bell
tHstrfctlll of a new Gardendale City School System are, in summary form:

1. Whether the Gardendale City Board must pay the Jefferson County
Yvette M.
Rlchard&en, Ed..D. Board $33,187,500.00 to enable the Jefferson County Board to
District IV
provide replacement facilities for Jefferson County students who
formerly attended schools in what is now the Gardendale City School
Ella B. Bell
DlsbtctV
System, or whether the needs of these students should be met
VIce Prea!dant
through a transitional attendance plan, as proposed by the
Gardendale City Board.
Cynthia Mccarty, Ph.D.
DlebictVI
2. Whether the Jefferson County Board must continue to accept at the
William E. Burkett Multi-Handicapped Center students who reside in
Jeff NBWitllln the Gardendale City School System and are currently attending the
DfebictW
Prealdent Pro Tern Center.

3. Whether the Jefferson County Board must assign to the Gardendale


Mary 5eott Hunter, J.D.
DlatrlctVIU City Board funds allocated to the Jefferson County Board from the
Foundation Program in an amount equal to all salaries and benefits
earned and federal employees assigned to Gardendale Schools as of
Thomas R. Blce, Ed.D.
Secnlltary and
Exacutive Offlc.
the transfer date for the balance of the current fiscal year (i.e.,
through September of 2015).

GolUION PERSONS 8Uit.DtNG • P.O. Box 302101 • MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36130-:UOl • TELEPHONE (334) 242-9700 • WEB sm:: www.alsde.edu
DOCUMENT 6

Page 2

Answer to the First Question

The Jefferson County Board relies on Ala. Code § 16-8-20 as authority for claiming
that a payment should issue from the Gardendale City Board. Although the creation of a
new city school system is not directly addressed by the statute, the principle behind the
statute, which makes financial obligations run with the land and facilities for which the
financial obligations were occurred or to which they can reasonably be allocated, Is a sound
one, and should be recognized in this particular situation. Otherwise, the Gardendale City
Board would receive a windfall at the expense of the Jefferson County Board.

For this reason, and pursuant to this office's authority to review the actions and
orders of county and city boards of education and the parties' Joint Petition for
Adjudication of Disputed Separation Issues, the Gardendale City Board shall pay to the
Jefferson County Board the sum of $8,108,555.10. That amount is based upon this office's
determination of the proper allocation and balancing of resources between the two school
systems, considering certain mitigating-;-fa-::ct:::-o:-r..,.s,....,.;in::.,c.,.lu-:di"in""'g"'":..,(.,i)~t:-;:h-:e-::-pe:-r-.-io:-d:;-:o-;f-:ti;-m-e:-:-.t~t
Gardendale schools, including Gardendale High School, have served students currently in
the Gardendale attendance zone; and (ii) the adoption ofthe Open Door Attendance Policy
proposed by the Gardendale City Board, as modified herein.

The methodology utilized to calculate the payment due to the Jefferson County
Board is as follows:

Total Jefferson County Grant/Bond


Proceeds Allocated to Jefferson County
Board $404,021,513.34
Imputed Percentage Share of
Grant/Bond Proceeds to Gardendale City
Board Based on 2005 Enrollment of
2,491 Gardendale Students Divided by
39,479 Total Jefferson County Students 6.31%
Approximate Cost of Gardendale High
School and Reasonable Allocation of
Other Extended Capital Improvements to
Gardendale Schools $55,000,000.00
Imputed Share of Grant/Bond Proceeds
to Gardendale City Board for Capital
Outlay -Initial Grant ($25,493, 757.49)
Imputed share of Grant/Bond Proceeds
to Gardendale City Board for Capital
Outlay- Summer 2014 Grant Proceeds ($497,687 .41)
DOCUMENT 6

Page 3

Credit for Expired Years of Service for


Capital Investment in Gardendale
Schools Through 2015 ($6,600,000.00)
Credit Years for Open Door Attendance
Policy, as modified ($14,300,000.00)

Amount due from Gardendale City $8,108,555.10


Board:

In addition, the Open Door Attendance Policy (the "Policy") proposed by the
Gardendale City Board is hereby adopted, subject to the following modifications:

First, the Policy shall be extended so as to allow, for a period of 10 years, a


sibling (through blood, marriage, adoption, foster arrangement, or other
legal means) of any student currently attending a Gardendale City School to
attend a Gardendale City School through the sibling's graduation, provided
that the student resides and continues to reside within the existing
Gardendale attendance zone, which is shown on the attached map.

Second, the Policy shall be extended so as to allow, for a period of 5 years,


any student (including siblings, as described above) who moves into the
existing Gardendale attendance zone to attend a Gardendale City School
through graduation, provided the student continues to reside within the
existing Gardendale attendance zone.

Third, the Policy shall be extended so as to allow, for a period of 13 years,


access to the Career Technical Center located at Gardendale High School by
any student who resides in Jefferson County.

Under the Policy, the Gardendale City Board shall be entitled to a pro rata share of
the 21.9 mills of district school taxes paid in Jefferson County's tax district for any non-
Gardendale resident who opts to attend a Gardendale City School.

The parties should work out the terms of payment to the Jefferson County Board
and any issues related to the implementation of the Open Door Attendance Policy, as
modified, among themselves. lfthey are not able to, they may ask for the assistance ofthis
office.
DOCUMENT 6

Page 4

Answer to the Second Question

This matter has been resolved by the parties since the submission of the Joint
Petition for Adjudication of Disputed Separation. Specifically, pursuant to the parties'
respective submissions, the Gardendale City Board shall be responsible for the education
of any Gardendale resident currently attending the William E. Burkett Multi-Handicapped
Center.

Answer to the Third Question

By creating a separate school system, the Gardendale City Board assumed the
obligation of paying the salaries and benefits of its employees, and it Is not entitled to any
portion of 2015 Foundation Program funds paid to the Jefferson County Board.

Statement Regarding Federal Desegregation Case

Any final decision of this office is subject to the United States District Court's
jurisdiction in Stout v. Jefferson Bd. of Educ., 2:65-cv-0396-:MHH (N.D. Ala), which has the
jurisdiction and authority to review and/or modify this office's final decision to ensure
compliance with federal desegregation laws and the orders ofthat court.

Done this the Ji!!. day of February, 2015.

THOMAS R. BICE
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION
DOCUMENT 7
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2/15/2019 4:31 PM
05-CV-2019-900207.00
CIRCUIT COURT OF
BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA
JODY L. WISE, CLERK

Exhibit 5
DOCUMENT 7

DOCUMENT I

Adop~ed by. t\}e ~la bama State.


'soard of Education at its
meeting on July 22, 1976 in
Montgomery,

nwtSPORTATION

Wl!EREAS, it bas come to the attention of the State Board of Education

that some school systems are transporting school children from another

school system without. an agreement with the other school system; and

WBEREA.S, it is not the intent of the transportation law that such a

practice be followed:

NOW, T!IERKFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That no school system may transport

children who reside in another school system without the mutual

consent of both systems involved and such consent must be in writing.

BE lT FURTHER RESOLVED That no funds be paid from the State level

for children transported in such cases without the mutual consent

of the systems involved• except in case of court orders.