Public forum held to discuss Hoover bus decision

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HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — The Hoover City School system’s decision to end bus service to regular education students in 2014 was a controversial decision when it was made. Even as time has drawn on, the decision still doesn’t sit well with some parents of students in the school system.

On Thursday evening, parents had the chance to let the school superintendent and the school board know exactly what they thought about the decision to drop bus service at a public forum held at Spain Park High School.

Before the meeting even began, the prevailing sentiment in the room was obvious. The auditorium filled quickly, and by the time the meeting was scheduled to start nearly all of the 400 sears were filled, most of them by parents and grandparents still trying to figure out if the decision to end the bus service was real.

“I thought it was a joke when I saw it on the internet,” Amanda Dinsmore said. “I thought someone was scamming us.”

“When you are a working parent, you depend on transportation to get your kids to and from a public school, and the thought of not having that really did not sit well with me,” Laree Kennedy added.

After 45 minutes of presentation, many of the parents on hand let their feelings about the decision be known.

“As a working single mother to three children, it is impossible,” Rebecca Usery  said. “It is impossible to drive my three children to three different schools every day.”

Some parents think there are other motives behind the decision besides simply cutting costs.

“This is just my opinion, but I think this is a way to weed out the undesirable students,” explained Micahel Lewis.

According to Superintendent Andy Craig, the decision is all about saving money the school district started losing five years ago.

“Those revenue streams that are ongoing and have been continuous … it’s been a comprehensive decline – a broad-based decline in those revenues.” Craig said.

In the end, though, the question most of those who attended the forum wanted answered was whether or not the decision could be changed.

Craig doesn’t think it can or will be altered.

“It’s been presented, it’s been approved,” Craig said. “That’s kind of the course we’re on at this point.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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