ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – Dozens of people packed the community space at Orange Beach United Methodist Church Monday night. Folks knew it was the last public meeting to discuss the possibility of the city breaking away and forming its own school system.
“We can’t fix what’s broken, but we can start something and make it better,” Sherri Descalo, a parent who came to the meeting, said.
And that was the feeling of the night as people listened to the presentations by the group Orange Beach Educational Excellence (OBEE).
Guest speaker and author Andy Andrews spoke a lot about what it takes to achieve certain goals and that it starts with a way of thinking.
“This whole period of exploration, we’re looking to see what is the best because we want to do the best, whatever that is, not just for our kids, but for our entire community,” Andrews said.
Andrews also pointed to stats about other city run school districts and their link of a strong economy.
“The one thing those 70 cities have in common, is that their economy has grown stronger in every area. And the only thing those 70 cities have in common is those 70 cities grabbed and created control of their educational system for their children,” Andrews said.
Speakers didn’t dive into the economics very much tonight. There seemed to be an understanding that until the feasibility study came back, there wasn’t a lot to talk about just yet.
“We’re waiting on the numbers to come back to see if it’s financially feasible. And once the city determines that it is financially feasible and it is the best decision for the city, it is no question something that the city residents need to highly consider doing,” Christina McInnis, a member of OBEE, said.
And while there wasn’t a lot about the numbers Monday night, Fox10 News will take a closer look in a special report Thursday at 9 called “Breaking Away from Baldwin County.”