Proposed Fee-Based Transportation System
The Hoover City Schools Board of Education has approved a new fee-based system for transporting students.
The Hoover City Board of Education has approved a new system that will charge students to ride city school buses in the 2014-2015 academic year.
Superintendent Andy Craig revealed this fee-based proposal in an April 17 memorandum to the Board of Education. The system is intended to “eliminate or minimize the unfunded cost burden of providing student transportation.”
The Hoover City Schools Board of Education approved the fee structure during its April 17 regular meeting, but its implementation still requires approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. District Court.
Hoover City Schools’ financial challenges have been at the forefront of local discussions since 2013, when the Board revealed its fiscal year 2014 budget. The budget projected $150 million in revenue and $167 in expenditures.
One of the board’s first proposals to reduce deficit operation was to remove the bus system entirely. This received strong opposition from parents. In response, the Board of Education has worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Civil Rights Division and the Birmingham office of the U.S. Attorney General to find a solution that will ease the city’s financial restrictions without placing an excessive burden on parents or leaving the city open to lawsuits.
Craig announced in his memorandum that the Department of Justice “would not likely oppose implementation” of the fee-based system. The system would alter rates depending on families’ economic situation and number of students needing transportation.
The basic monthly rate would be $40.75 for a single rider, $28.53 per student for two riders and $21.40 per student for three or more riders. Students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program will pay lower monthly rates.
The U.S. District Court must approve this new system before it goes into effect. If it is approved, the Board of Education and the Department of Justice will be monitoring the effects of the fee-based system and could make further adjustments.