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State Board of Education: Doug Bacchuss wants to bring local experience to the state level

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State Board of Education: Doug Bacchuss wants to bring local experience to the state level

Feb 20, 2024 | 4:01 pm ET
By Jemma Stephenson
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State Board of Education: Doug Bacchus wants to bring local experience to the state level
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Doug Bacchuss is running for the Republican nomination for the District 7 State Board of Education seat. (Glenn Mitchell/ contributed)

This is one in a series of profiles of Alabama State Board of Education candidates. Read the profiles to date here.

Bacchuss is seeking the Republican nomination for the District 7 State Board of Education seat after incumbent Belinda McRae declined to run again. District 7 includes the northwest corner of the state. 

Bacchuss, a member of the Decatur City Board of Education, said he wants to make sure that he is following the lessons from the Bible in all of the pursuits that he’s involved in, and he wants to make sure that his kids, their friends and all students get the best education possible.

Doug Bacchuss

Age: 55

Profession: Attorney

Party: Republican

Education: B.A., Political Science, University of Alabama, 1991; B.A., English, University of Alabama 1992; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 1996.

Offices held/sought: Decatur City Board of Education, vice-president, 2020-present.

Bacchuss said that when he and his wife met the birth mother of his oldest child, she asked him to describe his son’s first day of school.

“She wanted me, wanted a father, to be involved in her son’s education over the years and so that really made me in tune to walk in with my children when they’re matriculating through school,” he said.

The candidate said that he wants to work to spread the successes of his local district’s career academies and to grow workforce development opportunities.

He said he also wants to try and share the successes of Decatur’s pre-K and teacher training programs.

Bacchuss said that, if elected, he is looking forward to help implement any legislation the Alabama Legislature passes on vouchers, charter schools or other non-traditional public education methods. The Alabama Legislature is considering legislation that would grant $7,000 to households with students for use for private school tuition, counseling or other educational activities in a voucher-like program called an education savings account. 

“I’m looking to support public education and make sure that it stays in the conversation with school choice,” he said.

To improve NAEP scores– the “nation’s report card”– Bacchuss said he would want to continue trying to align their curriculum to the assessment.

Bacchuss said he supports the Alabama Literacy Act, which goes into full effect with the retention portion this year. Bacchuss said that he’s seeing the development of students reading on grade level, and he wants teachers and students to have the resources they need to provide correct documentation to the state department.

“But there’s no doubt, the Literacy Act has translated to improving our students’ reading capabilities,” he said.

He said that he sees workforce development and teacher support as priorities, referenced the teacher pay raises mentioned by Gov. Kay Ivey in the 2024 State of the State address. Ivey said that she wanted the highest starting salary among the neighboring states. The governor’s proposed budget would set a $47,600 annual salary for a teacher just graduated from college.

“We need to make sure that we’re recruiting students into the education field and then training them to be ready to enter into our schools,” he said.

Bacchuss also said that school safety and addressing chronic absenteeism are priorities for him. He said they need to look into supports to keep kids from being chronically absent.

“We’ve got to continue to find ways both in the school system and the community to support our students to make sure that they are in school,” he said.

This story was updated Feb. 23 to correct the spelling of Bacchuss.