The February Conference with the Judge: What Was Said

Last February 20, a conference was held in U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala’s courtroom. Haikala (pronounced High‘-ku-luh) led lawyers from the Jefferson County School District, the Hoover City School District, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund through a discussion of the Joint Report to the Court filed on February 6.

This is the transcript of that conference.

It clearly lays out concerns of all of the parties.

It is partly old news, but it has implications as Hoover’s communities consider where their children will attend school for the 2016-2017 school year.

 

Local Money Pays for Teachers, Administrators and Support Personnel

With the discussion beginning anew about how much money the Hoover City Council allocates to Hoover City Schools, we thought it would be helpful to share the most recent reports filed with the Alabama State Department of Education showing the source of funds (state, federal or local) for teachers and support personnel that work in our schools.

These are summaries, by school, as of October 2015. There are two reports: one for certified personnel, one for support personnel.

Certified personnel include any position that requires a certificate, which includes teachers and school-level administrators.

Support personnel include all other positions, including bus drivers, bus aides, operations personnel, and some central office personnel.

The source of funds indicates whether those personnel are paid with state, federal, or local funds. FTE is the acronym for “full-time equivalent” which simply means one full-time position.

The amount shown is a yearly figure, only depicting base salary amounts. No academic or athletic supplements are included in these numbers.

As you can see, Hoover City Schools use local money to fund a lot of certified personnel, particularly at the middle and high school levels.

If you need more details about what the reports show, contact Hoover City Schools directly. The information below should get you started.

Click each image below to make it larger. Or download the reports here.
Certified FTE by Funding Source 102015

 

Support FTE by Funding Source 102015

Some Answers about Transfers

The closed Facebook group “Hoover United” was created in September 2014 as a place for concerned citizens to swap ideas. Before Hoover United was created, multiple closed Facebook groups existed as a way to share information about the rezoning ideas that were being floated by former Superintendent Andy Craig.

Folks are asking questions on Hoover United, and we will attempt to provide relevant information if not provided somewhere else.

One recurring question is how many students transfer into Hoover’s schools, either because their parent works for Hoover City Schools or for some other reason.

Hoover’s board attorney filed the latest round of required federal desegregation reports on October 21, 2015, showing relevant numbers for the 2015-2016 school year. (Scroll down to link to all reports.)

You may recall that Hoover had taken a position they were not required to file the reports, but were forced to change that position after federal Judge Madeline Haikala required them to do so. Haikala asked Hoover to file five years of reports. They complied with her order in early 2015.

The 1971 desegregation order (which Hoover inherited when it broke away from Jefferson County schools in 1988) required reports to be filed on a yearly basis, in October of each year.

One of those reports has to do with student transfers. There are two types of transfers: out of district (students who are not zoned for Hoover’s schools but are allowed to attend), and intradistrict (students who are zoned to Hoover’s schools but attend a school other than the one to which they are zoned).

Here’s what the 2015-2016 court reports (Document 1034-2) reveal about those two types of students transfers.

There are questions that can be asked about these transfers. The purpose in sharing this information is to provide facts as a base for those questions. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Please remember that each of these numbers represents an actual child, and it is important to honor and respect all parents’ wishes for their children.

2015-2016 Out of District by Grade

2015-2016 Intradistrict by Grade

Here are the 2015-2016 court reports filed by Hoover City Schools on October 21, 2015.

Document 1034 – Main

Document 1034-1 – Student Ethnic Composition and Attendance by School

Document 1034 – 2 – Student Transfers

Document 1034 – 3 – Employee Composition

Rezoning Talks Begin Again

Mark your calendars….it’s time to go back to the drawing board. And time to meet with Hoover’s superintendent.

Here’s ABC33/40’s news report and talk with superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy.

Meetings start Tuesday, October 6. at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Murphy told ABC33/40 that parents and community members can attend any meeting that fits their schedule regardless of in which community the meeting is being held.

Meetings are listed on the right side of this page.

For a historical look at rezoning in Hoover, check out our Zoning History page.

The Traffic Study Results – Who Could Have Guessed?

Back in September of 2013, then-Superintendent Andy Craig and the 5-member Hoover Board of Education (BOE) contracted with Skipper Consulting for a sum of $49,500 to perform a traffic and circulation study to determine the effects of eliminating buses on traffic patterns around our school campuses.

Here is the original contract between the Hoover BOE and Skipper Consulting.

We finally got the results of the study at the Monday, April 13, 2015, board meeting.

To no one’s surprise, the Skipper told the BOE that eliminating buses would have had a terribly negative impact on the traffic surrounding the campuses, especially at Berry Middle School, where 74% of the students ride the buses.

Here’s Roy Williams’ article for the Hoover Sun.

Here’s Jon Anderson’s article for al.com.

Listen in for yourself with this link to full audio from Dan Fulton. The link should take you to where Mr. Darrell Skipper begins the presentation at 55 minutes, 3 seconds.

Joint Report to the Court Regarding the Desegregation Order

The Joint Report was filed on Friday, February 6, 2015, pursuant to the Court’s order of November 12, 2014.

The purpose of getting all of the attorneys together was to allow them to determine if any disparities exist among any of the Green factors.

The Green factors are:  1) student assignment, 2) faculty assignment, 3) staff assignment, 4) transportation, 5) extracurricular activities, and 6) facilities. The Green factors are used to determine whether disparities that could result in segregation within school districts exist.

See this post for more details.

See this information for more about how a district obtains unitary status (meaning a dual system of education…one for white children and one for minority children…no longer exists).

The legal standard to determine if a district has obtained unitary status is documented on page 4 of the filing and is as follows:

The ultimate inquiry in determining whether a school district is unitary is whether the district has: (1) fully and satisfactorily complied in good faith with the court’s desegregation orders for a reasonable period of time; (2) eliminated the vestiges of prior de jure segregation to the extent practicable; and (3) demonstrated a good faith commitment to the whole of the court’s order and to those provisions of the law and the Constitution which were the predicate for judicial intervention in the first instance.

Both Jefferson County and Hoover City schools are a part of this review. The review of Hoover’s Green factors begins on page 15.

The crux of the statement is that the DOJ nor the NAACP LDF (referred to as the “private plaintiffs”) have not been able to obtain enough information to make a determination on any of the factors. [Updated 2/10/15 2:25 p.m. to add “not” to the previous sentence. Apologies for any confusion.]

It ends with “Given that Hoover currently does not have a permanent superintendent, the timeline [for developing a plan for discussion] is still under review.”