Nalley explains chamber’s stance on school case
HUNTSVILLE – The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County has approved a position to support the consent order to end the desegregation case between Huntsville City Schools and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Donald W. Nalley Jr. chairs the chamber’s education committee and is a past chairman of the chamber. Nalley, a certified public accountant, is an owner and director with Beason & Nalley Inc. in Huntsville.
Chamber employees and members meet school administrators and keep involved to understand school issues, Nalley said.
“The chamber is fully committed to a quality education system in the Huntsville/Madison County metro area. The school system is a direct component of the community’s economic fabric. A quality education is good for everyone. It’s the right thing to do,” Nalley said.
To reach the consent order, both sides allowed “some give and take. There are plan components we believe are not as good as the original. However, there are those in the community that believe the new plan is better than the original,” Nalley said.
Most importantly, both parties reached an agreement. “We understand it won’t be viewed as good for all,” he said.
However, the plan will approach the return of “unitary status to our community, at which point it’s ‘our’ school system again … regardless of the taste of the medicine to get there,” Nalley said. “We support adoption at the earliest possible time.”
All schools are improving, he said. He cited better test grades, attendance, graduation rates, scholarship funds and dropout rates.
Nalley said Huntsville City Schools now is “in the black. Four years ago, we had a system in a financial hole and aging facilities. Today, we have … the required financial reserve balance and halfway through a capital campaign that will ultimately invest more than $250 million.”
He commended the current board and administration. “We’ll continue to monitor their effort and help make sure our community never loses sight … that our schools are the communities’ responsibility,” Nalley said.
Beason & Nalley’s office address is 101 Monroe St. in Huntsville. For more information, visit beasonnalley.com.