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Marion Military Institute at Center of Debate

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – Members of the state school board wrangled over whether to have Marion Military Institute's high school under its watch. Interim Chancellor Thomas Corts said the school is in legal limbo and he recommends it be closed after this school year. At Thursday's meeting, board members spoke out against any early closing, as did the institute's president, Colonel James Benson. State School Superintendent Joe Morton, while declining to take over the private school, said he will get back to the board with a recommendation. The Alabama Legislature approved moving the institute's private two-year college to the state's post-secondary system in March. The legislation required the high school division to close, but allowed it to stay open for three years until the 77 current students graduate. The 164-year-old institute describes itself as the oldest two-year military school in the country. The school's move to the state system is anticipated as an economic boon for rural Perry County.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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