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

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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.

UPDATE: Rezoning, Bus Fees, and Green Factors

There are three issues on the table: (1) the rezoning proposal, (2) the bus fees, and (3) the determination of whether Hoover City (and Jefferson County) has met its obligations on the Green factors.

There was a conference call on Monday, January 26, between the parties that resulted in all attorneys agreeing to file motions requesting time extensions of the January 30, 2015, due dates.

The due date for the joint statement of the attorneys involved (Jefferson County, Hoover, NAACP LDF and DOJ) has been postponed until February 6, 2015.

This motion requests an extension on the joint statement. As part of the reason given for requesting the extension, Hoover board of education attorney Donald Sweeney stated one of the reasons to be “the necessity for the Board to address its position regarding two components of the six Green factors at a Board meeting scheduled for February 2, 2015”.

No mention of what those “two components” are.

The due date for the requirement for Hoover to file 5 years of additional data (2009-2013) has been postponed until February 13, 2015. Here is the 2014 data for school year 2013-2014.

This motion requests an extension of time to produce the data.

The Judge granted the motions for extensions on Wednesday, January 27.Pages from Order Granting 995 and 996 Motions

What’s on the Table

The rezoning proposal appears to have flaws, particularly given no reasons other than “balancing the numbers” have been given for moving one set of children who are living in apartment homes to another school, while moving another set of children who are living in apartment homes right back into that school. Hoover school officials have provided no justification for doing so, instructionally, programmatic, or otherwise. Thus, there is no benefit to the children being moved.

Rumors abound that the rezoning proposal has been “rejected”, but there has been no official word from Hoover or any of the other attorneys involved.

The bus fees are still on the table, and will likely be part of the discussion of the Green factor that relates to transportation.

The Green factors are: (1) student assignment, (2) faculty assignment, (3) staff assignment, (4) transportation, (5) extracurricular activities, and (6) facilities.

The Judge has allowed a larger conversation about  the treatment of students, regardless of race, to take center stage by putting focus on the Green factors.

Data will show whether Hoover is meeting its obligation to treat all students the same in class assignment and facilities, which includes disciplinary actions. Initial review of the 2013-2014 data that Hoover filed in November 2014, reveals serious concerns about placement of students in high school classes.

All attorneys have been called to a status conference, set for February 20, 2015, though it is unclear whether the conference will be via telephone, in the Judge’s chambers, or held in the courtroom where the public can attend.

This document outlines the general process for school districts seeking “unitary status”, meaning they have eliminated their dual system (one for white students, one for African-American students) of education.

Rezoning Plan Feedback? Email NOW: rezoning@hoover.k12.al.us

The rezoning plan, a.k.a., the “Student Assignment Plan”, was made public on September 8 to families of children in Hoover schools. It was discussed at the September 8 Board Meeting, though I don’t recall the email address for feedback being mentioned.

[UPDATE 2/2/2015: The link in the sentence above no longer works. The only link available for the document is this one.)

While the Plan says nothing about where to submit feedback, if you go to the Hoover City Schools web site and click on “Student Assignment Plan Synopsis” under “District News”, you get this pop up window:

Rezoning Feedback

This directs you to “submit any feedback to rezoning@hoover.k12.al.us”.

It does no good to email friends, board members, City Council members, the Mayor, the news stations, the Superintendent, or anyone else.

The emails MUST be directed to rezoning@hoover.k12.al.us.

When the final iteration of the plan is presented to the U.S. District Court for approval, school officials will claim that they offered the public an opportunity to provide input through the email address. And they will likely produce all of those emails for the Court as evidence that some folks did email.

So ANY feedback (positive, negative, neutral) about the rezoning plan should be emailed to rezoning@hoover.k12.al.us.

Do it quickly. Do it today.