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In Brief - Education - Nov. 2, 2012

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From The Associated Press

Alabama leader to leave job
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — The president of the University of Alabama said Wednesday he was quitting after less than two months in office because of his wife’s health.
A statement released by the university quoted Guy Bailey as saying he made the decision to step down after “much discussion” with wife Jan Tillery-Bailey, but it didn’t disclose what sort of health issues she may be experiencing.
“My family and I appreciate your understanding and your prayers,” Bailey said.
Bailey took over as president of the Tuscaloosa campus in early September. The two-time graduate and Alabama native moved back to the state after leaving the presidency at Texas Tech University.
University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said Bailey’s wife was “critically ill this summer,” but she didn’t elaborate on her condition then or now.
A story published four years ago in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal described Bailey’s wife, a Lubbock native, as a two-time cancer survivor.
Trustee Paul Bryant Jr., pro tem of the Alabama board, said members would discuss Bailey’s successor at a specially called meeting scheduled for Thursday.
“We understand and respect that President Bailey’s priorities at this time must be focused on his wife Jan’s recovery,” Bryant said in the statement.
Bailey’s salary and incentives package at Alabama is worth as much as $652,000 annually. He replaced Robert Witt, who left the presidency to become chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama System.

School funding questioned
AUSTIN, Texas — Several Texas school board members testified Wednesday that differences in property values lead to unequal taxation and funding for public schools.
The school board members complained about how some wealthy districts can raise more money at lower tax rates, creating inequities between neighboring communities. More than 600 school districts have sued the state over the way it finances schools, claiming the system is inadequate and unfair.
Kaufman resident Joseph Langston said his district charges the maximum property tax rate of $1.17 per $100 valuation and raises $5,814 per student. But the nearby Sunnyvale school district charges only $1.02 and raises $6,657 per student.
“I believe it is discriminatory. It is unfair to Kaufman residents,” he said, explaining that 65 percent of the students in the district are poor. “If we had more money, we could provide a better education. We’re doing the best that we can, but we’re falling short of what we could do.”