The Alabama House of Representatives held over a school choice bill for military families who live on Alabama’s military bases until next week.  

House Bill 237 is sponsored by State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison).

“I have the school choice bill that has a chance of passing,” Ball said. “It would apply only to military families that live on base.

“This was brought to me by the Military Stabilization Commission," Ball said.

The Military Stabilization Commission works to make Alabama more attractive to the military and military families so that Alabama will be in better position if and when there is a future round of base realignments and closings.

Ball told 1819 News that the bill would apply only to public schools. The children of active-duty service members who live on base would be given the option to go to the public school of their choice rather than the one to which they are zoned.

Ball said that the bill was held over another week in the House Education Policy Committee because they were still negotiating the details with the Alabama School Superintendents.

There were several superintendents in the building lobbying legislators.

HB237 is cosponsored by State Reps. Andy Whitt, Terri Collins, Mac McCutcheon, and Rex Reynolds.

According to the synopsis: “This bill would enable a parent or guardian serving in active duty on a military installation located within this state to enroll his or her child in a public K-12 school located 25 miles or less from the military installation, notwithstanding local school district zoning.”

The bill is limited to the children of: “Full-time duty status in the Armed Services of the United States, including members of the reserve and National Guard components on active-duty orders.

“To complete registration in a public K-12 school pursuant to this subsection, a parent or guardian shall provide the school with proof of residency on a military installation, including military orders documenting the assignment to that installation.

"The parent would be, “responsible for the transportation of that child to and from the school if the school does not provide transportation for children residing on the military installation.”

1819 News asked Rep. Ball about Sen. Del Marsh’s much broader school choice bill, which appears to have stalled in the Senate.

“That bill was just a conversation starter,” Ball said.

Thursday will be day nine of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session.

Mike Ball is retiring from the Legislature at the end of his current term.

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