They've seen struggling students from other school districts as having a negative effect on the Hoover school district's test scores and therefore perhaps a negative effect on property values, school bus advocate Trisha Crain has said.
Instead of wanting to help those students overcome their challenges, Hoover school officials chose to run them out of the city, Crain said.
School officials have adamantly denied the decision to eliminate public school buses in the 2014-15 school year had anything to do with race or class. It's a matter of trying to save money at a time when the school system's revenue streams have seen declines at the same time as costs have increased, Superintendent Andy Craig and school board members have said.
Crain, Carter and others today said they have tried to work cooperatively with school and city officials to find ways to restore bus service, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
State schools Superintendent Tommy Bice said in August he was watching the Hoover school bus situation closely and hoped it could be resolved locally. However, if the safety and welfare of students became an issue, the state would step in if required, Bice said then.
Carter said Bice needs to act.
"He was here for Birmingham. He's been here for Midfield. We the parents of Hoover want to know - When is he going to come to our aid?" she said. "Our children deserve an education as well, and we don't want the politics of Hoover to stand in the way of that."
Efforts to reach Bice for comment today were unsuccessful.
[Some, very few from what I hear] Hoover parents also have turned to the NAACP for help.
Frank Matthews, a longtime activist in Birmingham who said he was representing both the NAACP and his organization called the Outcast Voters League, said he has been asked to attend the Hoover school bus advocates' meetings in the past and declined, but "enough is enough," Matthews said. Because Hoover residents are so strong into high school athletics, he is recommending the Hoover parents conduct protests at the Super 6 state high school football championships to help draw attention to their cause, he said.
He and others plan to talk to some of the Hoover football players and their parents and try to convince them to take a stand on an issue similar to how Grambling State University football players did last month. The Grambling players refused to play a game because no one was taking complaints about the condition of their facilities seriously.
Matthews said he believes there are young men and their parents in Hoover who care enough about their fellow students to take a stand. "We're not going to sit back and stand it and take it," Matthews said.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham said last week the Justice Department also is keeping an eye on the Hoover school bus situation. "The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that all students are fairly served in a public school system," spokeswoman Peggy Sanford said.
Crain said there has been enough watching and waiting. Hoover officials do not appear to be changing their minds about eliminating school buses and school officials are slow at providing parents with information about what to expect next year, Crain said.
Meanwhile, bus drivers who will lose their jobs already are leaving the system, leaving substitutes and mechanics driving buses with one hand and looking at school bus routes with the other, Crain said. It's already a dangerous situation for Hoover children, she said.
Faya Ora Rosa Toure, a civil rights activitst and attorney from Selma who is married to state Sen. Hank Sanders and a part of the Coalition of Alabamians Reforming Education, said she came from Selma to speak on this issue because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
She's concerned about the Hoover school district not only because of its move to eliminate school buses but also because Hoover was the first school district in the state to speak out against children from failing schools coming into their school system because of the Alabama Accountability Act.
"There's no real support for public education in Birmingham, and those parents that have chosen to go to Hoover to try to get what they couldn't get in Birmingham, now they're being denied the access of a ride to get to school," Toure said. "Here we are in 2013, and we're still trying to fight classism and racism in public education."
Toure said she is happy to see a coalition of black and white parents working together on this issue, which is not normal for the South.
"I believe that this is the beginning of a coalition that can address not only the bus issue in Hoover, but to address the inequity of education throughout this state," she said.
See more news about Hoover school bus cuts and Hoover school system finances here.
For more news from Hoover, go to www.al.com/hoover
“Trace Crossings Elementary parents in Hoover concerned about falling test scores, property values”
An earlier article that may have some bearing on the situation.
I agree that it's a race issue. Specifically, one race has a lot of issues.
Always, always, always ... same old story line.
People left the city of B’ham for a reason.
Liberals always follow success because they can’t achieve it on their own. Then they piss on it.
Throw the race card and you lose me.
There is massive waste in the busing down here.... In many cases it is literally a door to door service. I see every day where a bus stops in front of a house to pick up or drop off a kid, then rolls a hundred feet or so down the street to repeat the process.
Where I went to school, we had established bus stops that *GASP* one had to walk to/ from every day, and you had to be at least 4 miles from the school to be eligible to ride the bus.
Sounds like the “parents” have a lot of free time on their hands.
Lost in all this is the fact they don’t want to expend the effort to overthrow the tyrannical Demcrats and reclaim their own schools in their own local neighborhoods.