Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: The Hoover School Bus Issue

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

It’s been in the news across Alabama and America.  And I thought it was time to talk about this big issue, and it involves the Hoover School Buses.  You see, at the end of the upcoming school year, the Hoover School System will remove all school buses from service.  The only buses still running will be for special needs students.  Many parents who rely on the school buses are angry at the school system.  Some are really ticked off and are ready to take their battle to a new level.  If you have never visited Hoover Alabama during the middle of the day, you need too and see the incredibly high traffic levels.   And entire Interstates with grooved pavement.

The Hoover School System is thinking about charging each child a user fee to use the school buses during the next school year.  Some are saying the fees could be up to $120 per month per child.  That is crazy!  School officials say eliminating city school buses is necessary to cut costs and help balance the school system’s budget, which this year has a $17 million deficit.  But some are saying the decision in cutting the school buses has to do with minorities and poor people.  Sadly, some people say the school system is cutting the school buses to keep the low-income children, black children, and Hispanic children out of the school system.  Remember, this is Alabama, where we tried to kick out all Hispanics with that crazy immigration bill.

The matter has even gotten the U.S. Department of Justice and the Alabama State Department of Education watching the Hoover School System closely to see how school officials resolve the matter.  Some people are pointing to a desegregation order that says the school system can’t do anything that promotes segregation.  And these people are tying the cutting of school buses to kicking out poor people and minorities.  Even some of the students believes the bus decision is more of a race issue than a financial one.  My question is this, why would Hoover do something this crazy in an already traffic gridlocked town?

The people protesting the elimination of the school buses have joined forces with the NAACP and are calling for parents and students to protest the Super 6 state high school football championships at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa next month if something is not done to stop the elimination of public school buses in Hoover.  There is a very good chance Hoover will make it to the Super 6 by the way.  I am going to get off the race issue and talk about the traffic issues.  Below is a map of the Hoover school district, yes it’s that large!

Hoover

Some of the supporters who are wanting to cut the school bus service are pointing to the Vestavia Hills, Homewood, and Mountain Brook school districts which does not have school bus service.  You could take all three school districts above and they would not equal the total mileage of the Hoover School System.  Some students have to travel up to 15 miles just to get to school.  And for the ones who say the kids can just walk, would you let your kids cross US 280?  And how many families can actually carpool?  Some parents have to leave early for work, I don’t think you want to leave young kids at home alone.

School Buses are very important for a school system.  When school systems cut school bus service, the non-attendance rate shoots up.  Because some parents have no way to get their kids to school.  It’s not like 50 years ago where some kids walked to school.  Today, the roads are filled with drivers who are looking at their phones and will do anything they can to go fast.  And in Alabama, many intersections do not have ped signals and many roads don’t have sidewalks.

who-rides-the-bus-3

To the Hoover School System, if you are looking for ways to cut money in your budget, have you looked at the athletic programs?  Sports is something not crucial to the schools.  It won’t hurt you to cut out football and the other sports.  Unless you want to slightly raise the property or sales taxes to fund the school buses, which won’t kill people.  You don’t want to increase traffic on your already congested roads because you cut out bus service.  It will leave you with less tax revenue because people will not deal with the traffic to go shopping.  Maybe the Alabama Department of Education will have to take over the Hoover School System, it might be for it’s own good.

Sign a petition to stop the elimination of the Hoover school buses at: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-the-hoover-buses.fb40?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=6651797

Follow Save the Hoover Bus System on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/savethehooverbuses

Follow the Hoover City School Facts blog at: http://hooverfacts.wordpress.com/

4 replies »

  1. Nathan,

    Thank you for highlighting this struggle! The school buses are so important to our children and our community. I hope you can come to one of our meetings soon.

    Have a great night and thank you!

  2. Thanks for commenting. I hope either Dr. Bice or the Justice Department will step in to help you guys. Dr. Bice knows me very well and he has seen a link to this post.

  3. We are actually zoned for a school that is 12 miles away. The other high school is only 7 miles away. They are expecting us to not care about that 10 mile per day difference!

  4. Yikes! For a urban school district, that is way too far for a kid traveling to school. This bus issue does not make sense, thanks for commenting!