State representatives Mary Moore and John Rogers had a lot to say Monday about who's to blame for the Birmingham BOE's current state.
They claim the person to blame for the school system's financial troubles is Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon.
Witherspoon went to court last week to try and save his job after the board voted to remove him. The state overruled that decision the next day, but Moore and Rogers say the Birmingham BOE is with their rights to fire Witherspoon.
"School board members hire and fire that is what they do. Trussville just fired a lady. They owe her 600 thousand dollars," Moore said.
Rogers says the budget plan he has seen cuts too many lower paid school system workers rather than higher paid employees in the central office.
"[Witherspoon] cut odd all the maintenance workers. The paraprofessionals. You are punishing the kids for no reason," Rogers said.
Rogers and Moore said they are not against a state takeover but they also criticized State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice witht he way he's conducted the state takeover.
"Why isn't he here? Why is Dr. Bice calling the shots from Momtgomery?why isn't he here in this troubled school system?" Moore said.
They want the schools treated fairly just like the other roughly 30 schools systems in financial trouble. However, many of those have yet to face state intervention. This is something Rogers and Moore said points to discrimination against the Birmingham system.
The lawmaker questions how Bice can force the majority of the Birmingham school board to accept the financial recovery plan.
"Can't nobody force me to do what I don't want to do. You don't intimidate me. The master can't come in here and force me to vote on this plan," Rogers said.
Community activist William Muhammad calls the intervention and the criticism of board members trying to fire Supt. Witherspoon racist.
William Muhammad"it seems to me trying to be I'm control of the Bham school system from outside of it, the people who are going to fill that meeting tomorrow are people who are not allowing their children to be in the system"
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