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State issues statement on Mangum leave

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) is concerned about the Selma City School Board’s decision to place Dr. Angela Mangum, superintendent, on administrative leave last week.

But Selma City School Board President Johnny Moss said the board’s actions were fair.

“The bottom line is she was wanting to leave, and if she wants to leave, then we need to know, so we can plan and prepare and put someone in place,” Moss said.

Mangum was placed on leave for an alleged breach of her contract after news broke that she was a candidate for the Pike Road Schools (PRS) superintendent position.

Mangum’s contract includes a clause that requires her to notify the school board president if she were to pursue another job.

Moss said board members found out Magnum was a candidate for the PRS job through the media.

After she was placed on leave, the state department issued a statement voicing concern about the school system.

“There is a concern that these abrupt changes will have a negative impact on the progress of the Selma City School System,” the statement from the ALSDE read.

Mangum is at the end of her second year of a three-year contract.

Moss pointed out that a previous school board hired her.

Only one member of the board that hired Mangum is still serving, Brenda Randolph-Obomanu.

“We had a commitment that we were going to work through this next year and to honor that entire contract, and then when we get hit with news that she wants to leave,” Moss said. “I think it is fair for us to go ahead and start preparing so we can move the system forward. We just want to make sure that we’re doing what’s right for the community and what’s right for our school system.”

The state department’s statement contradicts what State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance told the state board Thursday during a meeting.

According to the statement, the department has “continuously monitored” the Selma system, but Sentance told board members there had been “no monitoring of the system since former State Superintendent Tommy Bice returned operational control to Selma in April 2015.”

The department could not clarify Monday which one was correct. According to Malissa Valdes-Hubert, ALSDE public information manager, the department is currently monitoring the system.

The department said last week Dr. Roy Ann Moore, who was a member of the intervention team when the state took over the system in 2014, would review the circumstances of the board’s decision and make a recommendation to the state superintendent.

So far, Moore has not begun the review.

Arthur Capers, who works in human resources for Selma City Schools, is the acting superintendent while Mangum is on leave. He was appointed during the same meeting Mangum was placed on leave. A hearing for Mangum has been scheduled for May 23 at 4:30 p.m. at Selma High School. Efforts to reach her Monday for comment were not successful.