The Hoover City Council on Monday plans to vote on several changes in funding for Hoover City Schools that would give the school system roughly $1.5 million more than it currently gets from the city.
Since 2009, the Hoover City Council has allocated $2 million for Hoover City Schools each year, but the school system has paid the city roughly $1 million back to cover the cost of school resource officers.
Now, one resolution on Monday’s City Council agenda would reaffirm the city’s annual $2 million contribution to the school system, and a second one would have the city pay 100 percent of the cost of school resource officers, saving the school system about $1 million.
A third resolution on Monday’s agenda would allow the school system to receive $1,500 for every building permit for a new house built in the city, in addition to the $2 million allocation.
Homebuilders already are paying the $1,500 “front-door fee” to the city, and the city is forwarding that money to the schools, but the money currently is included as a part of the total $2 million allocation. If the resolution is approved Monday, the front-door fees would be additional money going to the school system.
Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate said that in fiscal 2015, the front-door fees amounted to about $460,000. Of course, that amount would fluctuate based on the number of new houses built in Hoover each year.
Hoover Councilman John Greene said tonight that an expected increase in interest rates could cause a decrease in homebuilding. Pate said he didn’t think an increase in interest rates would impact Hoover very much.
Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey said city officials wanted to make these changes to try to help the school system with its deficit budgets.
“We want to help the schools all we can without cutting services,” Ivey said.
Council President Jack Wright said the additional funding for the school system will go a long way in helping school officials narrow the gap between their expenditures and revenues.
“The kids of Hoover are our No. 1 asset, and our education system is our most important asset,” Wright said.
The City Council is serious about partnering with school leaders and wants to be as supportive of them as possible, he said.
Hoover school board President Derrick Murphy said any amount of funding the city can give the school system is a plus and will keep school officials from having to make as many cuts in expenditures.
School board member Craig Kelley said local funding is what makes the Hoover school system what it is. Hoover pays 200 of its 1,012 teachers and 622 of its 1,824 total employees with local money, according to its 2016 budget. Plus, Hoover pays many of its employees beyond the base state salary allocation.
Hoover schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy continues to study ways to eliminate unnecessary spending. But school officials are looking at having to make cuts that will impact the educational opportunities afforded Hoover school children, Kelley said.
Additional money from the city will help the situation, he said.
The city of Hoover for many years gave the school system 16 percent of the city’s sales tax revenues, plus the front-door fees. If that formula had been used in fiscal 2014, it would have amounted to about $11.4 million for Hoover schools, if the front-door fees were roughly the same amount as in 2015.
Monday’s Hoover City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the Hoover Municipal Center.
Another major item on the agenda is a $70 million Hoover Sportsplex. Read more about that here.