HOOVER, Ala. — Parents of Hoover City Schools students will not have to pay a fee for their children to ride the school bus, al.com reports.
The Hoover school board voted on Monday to rescind an April 2014 vote that would have created a mandatory fee to ride the school bus, according to the news source. At that time, district officials said they would work with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Alabama State Department of Education to create a “cost-sharing transportation model” for the start of the 2015-16 school year, as previously reported.
However, the 2014 vote was dependent on approval from the U.S. District Court, which oversees a decades-old school desegregation case, but that approval never came, so the fees were never implemented, according to al.com. Additionally, two parties to the desegregation case — the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund — had issues with the plan.
The district is trying to get released from federal supervision in the desegregation case, and the school bus fee plan was making that difficult, Kathy Murphy, superintendent of Hoover City Schools, told the news source. She added that the fee was "divisive to the Hoover community and made a lot of parents unhappy."
The school board had initially considered a plan to end bus service for most students beginning with the 2014-15 school year, but that plan was rescinded in December 2013 and the school bus fee plan was delayed. As previously reported, findings from a traffic study, which were released earlier this year, showed that if the school board had eliminated buses, about three-quarters of its schools would have had significant jumps in carpool traffic, according to al.com.