Alabama Teachers Protest State Superintendent Appointment

By Daarel Burnette II — August 29, 2016 1 min read
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A group of Alabama educators have started a petition for the state board to rescind their hiring of education consultant Michael Sentance to be the state’s next superintendent.

Educators in the state have argued that Sentance, who was appointed by the board earlier this month, lacks experience as a teacher, principal, or district superintendent and is not qualified to be the state’s superintendent.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Political Reporter reported this week that Sentance’s Massachusetts law license was suspended after he failed to pay the $300 annual fee to keep the license active. Sentance said because he wasn’t practicing law, he had no reason to keep the license active.

The state’s board is expected to vote on a recommended contract with Sentance on Sept. 8. If approved, Sentance would be paid $198,000 a year.

Former state superintendent Tommy Bice resigned in March after four years on the job. Philip Cleveland has served as the state’s superintendent in the interim.

Sentance spent eight years working for the U.S. Department of Education as the Secretary’s Regional Representative, according to his resume, and has since run his own education consultancy firm.

“I’m clearly a nontraditional candidate,” Sentance told “I think I’ve demonstrated over many years that I have a deep understanding of education and education issues.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.