Hoover City School system announces upcoming changes to bus services

HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – The Hoover City School system announced on Monday plans to discontinue regular bus services for “regular education student.”

The rationale? Cost savings.

The schools system has a high percentage of nationally certified teachers and high-tech tools, which all cost the system money.

As it stands, the system is operating in a deficit. Cutting back on the transportation services will help them get back on track.

However, the decision has an impact on parents who work and bus drivers – they now have to come up with a whole new plan.

Stopping regular ed. bus service by August of 2014 will reportedly allow Hoover City Schools to save over $2.5 million each year.

“The transportation budget represents about a quarter of the deficit that we’ve been running since the economic downturn,” said Jason Gaston of Hoover City Schools.

The money, once cut and back into the budget, can be put in the classroom or used to pay off debt.

But is it worth the trade off? The answer varies depending on who is asked.

“It came out of nowhere. Where was the warning?” questioned Kerry Leasure, a mother who has children in the school system. “It won’t affect us immediately, but once my kids are out of elementary schools, well, at one point I’m going to have three different kids t three different schools, so that’s going to boil down to six carpools a day. You know, I’m fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom, but I don’t know how families with two working parents are going to swing shuttling their kids to and from school.”

Jessica Kauhn is one of those parents who may have trouble.

“Ninety percent of us are usually going to work the time that they are getting ready to get on that bus,” Kauhn said.

With high-tech electronic tables on hand for students of all ages, Kauhn questions whether there isn’t another area to cut.

“My Green Valley student got a Nook. No, I don’t that age appropriate. That’s a lot of money,” she said.

“We just want parents to understand that every decision that we make truly is in the best interest of the student from an instructional standpoint.”

A school spokesperson says about 100 transportation workers will probably lose their jobs as a result of the change, just another major impact from a major decision.

Concerned parents have created a Facebook page to try and save the bus system. To view that page, click here.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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