How Are We Going to Stay Informed?

Hoover’s residents, particularly those of us that support our public schools, have a way of stepping in and out of the conversation depending upon how it affects us. (We’re not unlike most all other communities in that respect.)

Things have quieted down for the moment, and most of us have gone back to our daily lives.

But while we are busy taking care of our families, working our jobs, tending to all that matters to our families, the folks that make decisions for our schools are still at it.

Still making decisions that affect our children, our teachers, our schools.

So what’s the plan?? How are we going to stay informed?

A little history……

Ten years ago, Hoover Parent Teacher Council (HPTC) President Liz Wallace started an email list, fondly known as The Big List, to keep us all up-to-date with the happenings around the City Council’s funding grab.

When her internet service provider could no longer handle the sheer number of email addresses on the List, she started a blog (who remembers the Big List Blog?) to keep us all informed about what was happening with our schools.

Liz was a trail-blazer, using mass electronic communication techniques before most of us even knew the term.

In 2006, the Hoover School Community Information Network (HSCIN) took on the responsibility to inform our citizens about what was happening in our schools.

In July 2007, THE Hoover Forum became a place for citizens to gather (even if shrouded by anonymous screen names) to have the discussions that needed to be had.

By 2010, the HSCIN closed down. THE Hoover Forum went mostly dormant not long after that.

At this point, the only place the good people of Hoover can access news on a regular and reliable basis is that reported by our long-time, dedicated al.com reporter Jon Anderson.

The Hoover Sun has joined the local media, but focuses mostly on the good stuff.

Good stuff is certainly happening every day in Hoover, but there are lots and lots and lots of worrisome and under-reported happenings that are never brought to light because there is no one to report them.

We need folks who are willing to attend public meetings and take the time to write up those meetings. From start to finish.

There is still a core group of us who recognize the need to stay aware…keep tracking the smoke, not just responding to the flames.

We hope to provide regular reports on school board meetings (coupled with links to Fulton’s audio of these meetings, of course), Hoover Parent Teacher Council meetings, PTO and PTA meetings, city council meetings, planning and zoning board meetings, chamber of commerce meetings….any public meeting or happening that impacts our Hoover City Schools.

But we need your help. If you are willing to contribute to this effort, sharing notes from meetings you attend, please contact us at hooverfacts(at)gmail.com.

One thing that will not be tolerated nor responded to: anonymous emails, anonymous writings, anonymous comments. Unless a real (and verifiable) name is on an email, it will be deleted. So please place your name in the subject line if you wish to contribute.

We need real people in this discussion. Real people willing to use their real names.

Sure, we still have the Free the Hoover Buses Facebook page, and THE Hoover Forum is available for use, too.

We even have a (relatively) new Facebook page, Save Our Schools, Hoover, to flash-announce the news.

But we, as a school community, need a way to disseminate information quickly…the same way we did during the initial bus elimination and the rezoning crisis last summer and fall.

We must continue to guard against allowing ourselves to be divided…allowing school board members and city council members to make promises they can’t keep in order to keep us quiet.

It is The Hoover Way: city and school leaders keep us fighting over resources in order to retain the power to make the decisions that need to be made.

We have to think outside of our tiny kingdoms and look to the betterment of the city…of our children and our future….as a whole.

We allow ourselves to be divided because the politicians in our city find it easier to manage us when we are divided.

It isn’t an Either-Or World.

It isn’t “either we have a great police force or we have money to improve our schools”.

It isn’t “either we build a new fire station or we build a new elementary school”.

It isn’t “the superintendent says the schools don’t need money, so the schools don’t need money”.

And it certainly isn’t “the kids who are moving into Hoover are so challenging that we need to cut off their means of transportation to school”.

We, the people of Hoover, determine the direction we want our city leaders to FOLLOW.

We, the people of Hoover, determine the direction we want our school board to FOLLOW.

We don’t serve them, folks.

They serve us.

Remember that next time you have a conversation with one of Hoover’s elected or appointed leaders and they tell you what THEY want for the city or for our schools.

Remind them that they need to listen to you.

 

Please let us know if you’re willing to help. We’re all volunteers. We all have commitments. We need you.

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