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July 18, 2013  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

Alabama district to end regular-ed transportation

By Thomas McMahon


HOOVER, Ala. — Hoover City Schools will stop regular-education transportation with the 2014-15 school year, the board of education decided on Monday.

District officials expect that ending the service — to go into effect in August 2014 — will save more than $2.5 million per year, which can be redirected into classroom investment and/or deficit reduction.

The change does not affect special-education transportation service.

In a memo to the board about the proposal, Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig cited declining revenue as a key factor.

"In recent years, there has been considerable negative pressure on many aspects of our financial operating model," Craig wrote. "The continued overall inverse relationship between increasing student enrollment and sharply declining revenues has diluted our funding model and eroded our investment capacity in core teaching and learning."

Since 2008, per-student revenues have decreased from $13,715 to $11,356. The decline equated to an operating revenue loss of $96.8 million over a four-year period.

According to an announcement, the district designated the beginning of the 2014-15 school year for ending transportation service to "allow an extended time for adjustments to be made by parents whose children now ride buses to and from school, as well as ... adequate time for affected transportation employees to obtain employment in another system or explore other employment opportunities."

To read Craig's memo to the school board, click here.

Other recent news on transportation cuts:

Texas district to stop some summer school bus service

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Read more about: Alabama, budget cuts, school board

With the way the city of Hoover is set up and the traffic that passes through on the way to Birmingham coupled with the fact that Hoover has very few sidewalks, the traffic situation is going to be a nightmare.. They're also saying they're only going to save 2.5 million by eliminating a fleet of 160 buses?

J Kronberg    |    Jul 19, 2013 10:52 AM

Rather than disolve school bus transportation, why not implement a fee based on distance and allow the parents to choose to fund the bus service. Statistically school bussing is far, far safer than transporting in a parent's car. As mentioned in another statement, It will be bad for the environment and the traffic back up will be unreal. It's bad enough now with the parents that don't let their children ride the school bus. Traffic tends to back up into the roads with cars waiting to get into the schools; buses are backed up because of the parents that choose to drive their kids in rather than let them ride the bus with their friends. School bussing is necessary and makes a tremendous difference in our environment and our traffic.

J. Pavlik    |    Jul 19, 2013 07:59 AM

I agree with Mr. Rogge completely. Also, Mr. Craig's remarks about bus drivers "finding employment elsewhere" is rather flippant, condescending and dismissive. With high unemployment and a tepid economy at best, what are the chances of "finding employment elsewhere?" Easier said than done. This decision is misguided at best. I hope it gets reversed for the sake of many, not just the divers.

G. Bridgman    |    Jul 19, 2013 05:32 AM

This bureaucratic decision will make things worse, decreasing safety and increasing congestion, problems which will also affect the non-school traffic. Passing the costs from the school transportation department to parents and non-school traffic isn't an answer. Reducing administrative overhead is an answer, starting with the taking-away of the taxpayer-funded paycheck and any benefits packages from Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig, as is improving the efficiency of bus routing. Of course, if the school wasn't located across town, and students could still walk to school without risking their lives by crossing major roads, then it wouldn't be so much of a problem. I'd suggest taking over the transportation department and reinstating more sensible routes.

Alexander Rogge    |    Jul 18, 2013 08:18 PM

This sounds to me like an extremely penny wise and pound foolish idea. How does the school board expect students to get to school without buses? Are you going to have hundreds of parents driving their kids to school? How will you handle all those cars in the school's drive way and parking lots and what about increased traffic on the highways around the school? Further, it's a terrible waste of fuel to have all those cars on the road instead of buses that can carry up to 70 kids. In this day of high energy costs, dwindling natural resources and air pollution considerations, any decision to increase fuel consumption and traffic on the highways, even if someone else pays for it, is foolish at best. These people need to reconsider this decision.

G. Bridgman    |    Jul 18, 2013 03:19 PM

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