Across the Board February 2024: Key Takeaways from the ALBOE Meeting

Recapping important State Board of Education policy decisions for you

Here are our key takeaways from the February 8th State Board of Education meeting and work session – and what they mean for Alabama’s students. 

Top 3 Takeaways

1. Cell Phone Use

The Board unanimously approved a resolution to encourage local districts to adopt policies on cell phone use in schools. The resolution cites research on the effects of cell phone use in classrooms on test scores and learning retention, as well as the Alabama Code, which allows local boards to regulate the use of electronic communication devices on school property. The Board also encourages local boards to provide training and support to teachers and staff on their policies. The Code of Alabama allows local boards to permit students to carry and use cell phones with the permission of a teacher or administrator and allows local boards to adopt a policy pertaining to cell phone use.

2. Administrative Code changes pertaining to Professional Learning for School Leaders and Teachers

The board discussed two changes to the administrative code regarding professional learning; one for school leaders and one for teachers. The SBOE will announce their intent to adopt these changes at the March meeting.

  • The School Principal Leadership and Mentoring Act, passed during the 2023 session, required the SBOE to update the Alabama Standards for School Leadership, last reviewed in 2005. This new code section, recommended by the design team created in accordance with the act, lays out “nature, quality of work, and expectations” for school leaders. These standards will serve as the foundation for implementing the rest of the Act, including professional learning, a new Principal Leadership Academy, and a new evaluation system. 

The other code change discussed in the work session was the repeal and adoption of new language that defines and lays out the standards for professional learning in Alabama schools.

3. Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs

During today’s work session, #TEACH, the first alternative teacher preparation program to go before the board, made the case for their approval. Next month, the board will vote whether to approve this organization. We should anticipate presentations from other alternative teacher preparation programs in future meetings.

To see the full February Board Meeting and Work Session agendas, click here.

The Alabama State Board of Education usually meets on the second Thursday of each month, with the exception of the July meeting, to discuss important policies, procedures, and changes for Alabama’s K-12 public schools. The Board takes official action during their monthly meeting and then follows up with a Work Session to get updates and discuss future action that will be voted on at the next board meeting. You can watch them live and see old meetings here

Contact Your Board Member:

Have feedback on any of the above items – or anything else? Contact your state school board member using the resources below:

-To contact your State Board of Education Member, click here.

-To find out which district you live and/or teach in, click here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your address in the “Polling Place Search” box. Once entered, it will take you to a page that shows your polling place and the districts you live in.

-To view a map of the state school board districts, click here.