Kathy Murphy update on rezoning
Hoover school officials will be meeting with U.S. Department of Justice officials on Thursday to jointly work on crafting a plan to redraw school attendance zones.
However, it could be February before school officials have a plan to present to the public, Hoover schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy said in a video update shared on the school district’s Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
School officials also continue to accept feedback from the public about rezoning as they develop the plan, Murphy said. Five community meetings were held across the city in October and November, and people continue to send in comments via email.
“We really appreciate your feedback,” Murphy said. “Your feedback has given us more direction and more focus. We realize that change is difficult, and I wish to minimize the impact of rezoning on our students, our parents and our community. Thank you for being patient with us as we work through this difficult process.”
Once a rezoning plan is developed, it will be presented to the public at a community meeting so the public can give additional input, Murphy said. Each school principal also has selected two to three people from their schools, including parents, to provide input to district administrators in a smaller setting, she said.
Murphy plans to present a rezoning proposal to the school board for approval no later than early March and then will present the plan to the U.S. District Court, which is supposed to review any changes in student attendance zones before they can take effect, in accordance with a decades-old desegregation court case.
Both the Jefferson County Board of Education and Hoover Board of Education are seeking dismissal of the desegregation case but first must prove that the goals of school desegregation have been accomplished.
Hoover school officials say attendance zones need to be redrawn so that students can be distributed more efficiently among school facilities as the city grows and to make sure there is enough room for all students. Justice Department officials also want to make sure that minority students are being treated fairly in school assignments.
Murphy said people can email comments about Hoover school rezoning to firstname.lastname@example.org