Local private school principal speaks about participating in AAA - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Local private school principal speaks about participating in AAA.

Sister Gail Trippett is the principal of Resurrection Catholic School. Sister Gail Trippett is the principal of Resurrection Catholic School.

Under Alabama law, parents of students in failing public schools now have a decision to make.

The newly passed Alabama Accountability Act gives tax credits to parents who remove their children from schools the law considers "failing."

If you live in Montgomery, you should know if your school is failing by now.  Education officials say letters have already gone out to parents.

But if you choose to transfer, your options are limited.

"Yes, we want more students," says Sister Gail Trippett, Principal of Resurrection Catholic School.

It's a Pre-K through 8th grade facility with roughly 100 students.

Opting in to the Alabama Accountability Act "was only a natural fit," says Trippett.

The school is located on Forbes drive, right off the Northern Boulevard--an area zoned for Capitol Heights Middle School.

It's on the state's list of failing schools.

"There are a number of children that would be affected in our community and our doors are open for any child who would like to succeed," says Trippett.

Resurrection Catholic School administrators filled out the application required by the state, sent the school's accreditation status and tax information to the Department of Revenue and received the go ahead to accept kids from failing schools.

Trippett says they have room for 50 more.

"We would be happy to receive all new students."

There are some additional state requirements private schools must meet if they decide to opt in to the program. And for some, that alone, is the deciding factor.

"As of this time my board has not made a decision for us to participate," says Melba Richardson, Head of School for St. James School.

Richardson isn't sure about the state's mandate requiring private schools wishing to opt in to set up a scholarship account.

The account would receive money from scholarship granting organizations helping fund tuition payments for children from failing public schools.

"We're a non-profit school. There would be a lot of questions we have as to maintaining that status."

As for Sister Trippett, the state hasn't required proof of the scholarship account just yet.

She expects to discuss it with the State Department of Education in the coming weeks.

The Accountability Act also requires any private school opting in to the program to adhere to the State Department of Education's record keeping standards to properly track any student who transfers from a failing public school.

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