Bus drivers meet with Hoover City Schools administration, leave disappointed

Lisa Chasteen has a message for students.

"I just want to tell them to be strong and hold on and go to school," she said.

She's been a bus driver for Hoover City Schools for 12 years. Come next fall she'll be out of a job.

Wednesday, she and dozens of other bus drivers came to Hoover High School to talk with the administration and express concerns over the recent decision to cut about 150 positions, including drivers.

"We didn't have any of the answers that we needed on our long term, our insurance, our retirement, our benefits or anything like that," Rhonda Mcree said.

Mcree, a 20 year bus driver, says it was a wasted meeting.

For Ruth Anne Luker, a six year veteran, she's disappointed Superintendent Andy Craig wasn't even present.

"I feel like he should have come and supported his decision if he made that decision," she said. "He should have been here to tell us his side."

Some bus drivers seem to think the issue isn't about money.

"It's not about the money, Hoover has plenty of money," Luker said.

But instead, some believe the cuts are racially driven.

"It's a racial issue," Chasteen said. "It's also an economic issue."

But Jason Gaston with the system says that's not true. It's about keeping the system's head above water.

"This has nothing to do with race, this has nothing to do with socioeconomic status," he said. "This all has to do with keeping our budget in line."