0713 School Bus Stop Sign
Hoover City Schools plans to halt school buses starting in August 2014.
The school system’s Board of Education made the decision at its July meeting, citing saving $2.5 million annually to redirect into classrooms as it primary reason, according to a release.
“There are numerous complexities involved, but the fundamental issue as to where we need to commit our financial resources is basic in nature,” Superintendant Andy Craig said in a memo. “Therefore, I am seeking your support for a change I believe is a crucial component in helping financially reposition Hoover City Schools and enable us to provide quality education for the long term.”
Craig went on to cite pressures on the system’s financial operating model, as enrollment has increased while revenues decreased.
According to the memo, the system’s revenues on a per student basis have decreased from $13,715 to $11,356 from 2008 to 2012. This represents a cumulative operating revenue loss for that four-year period of $96.8 million dollars. Annual revenues for 2012 were down $31.6 million from 2008.
In response, the system has cut expenditures for instructional costs by 6 percent and instructional support costs by 10 percent, which cut 110 teachers from the system on a per student basis from 2008 to 2012.
“Despite these significant cuts, Hoover City Schools is still currently operating in a deficit position — a position that is' unmanageable and unsustainable if we are to achieve our teaching and learning goals,” Craig said in the memo.
The Board decided on the August 2014 start date in order to allow time for parents of children who currently ride buses to find alternate forms of transportation to school and for bus drivers to find other employment, according to the release.
Beyond the change in transportation services, Hoover City Schools said it plans to continue to analyze and implement strategies to stop declining financial operating trends, recoup lost capacity, and position the school system for sustainable success.
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