Hoover City Schools says "Bye-Bye" to buses
HOOVER - AL —
"Everyone's going to be doing it," 15-year-old, Mariana Brewer, said.
Brewer is one of the few teenagers who is scared to drive.
"I'm terrified," she said.
Starting in 2014 she will have to drive to school at Hoover High School, because Hoover City Schools is saying goodbye to the bus.
"This, first off, was a very difficult decision," Jason Gaston said.
Gaston, with Hoover City Schools, says in the past four years revenue, like property taxes and state funds, has declined by almost $100 million.
And now...cuts must be made.
"We are kind of in the business to making sure kids get to school," Gaston said. "But, we are definitely in the business of making sure when those students are in the classroom, they're getting a top-notch education."
"I was shocked," Felicia Brewer said.
Mariana's mother, Felicia never knew that Hoover City Schools weren't obligated to pick up her children. She's worried about the morning rush, the congestion and the timeliness.
"Parents are going to be looking for some way to get around this, because they've got to get to work," she said.
Also taking a hit will be dozens of bus drivers.
"Bus drivers...they will be affected by this," Gaston said. "It's an unfortunate casualty when you make a cut of this magnitude."
Bottom line, Gaston says these cuts are all about saving money.
By cutting the fleet, the bus drivers, the insurance and the fuel costs, Gaston says the school system will save about $2.5 million every year, which will go back into the classroom.
Until then, Mariana is pleading with the school system to reconsider.
"Don't make us all drive," she said. "Get the buses back. Kids are scared, I'm scared to drive."
Gaston says the school system is trying to determine what neighborhoods could carpool or walk to school. He says he understands some parents might want to move away from the school system because of this decision, but stresses the importance of the education value in Hoover City Schools.
Gaston says buses will still run to pick up students with special needs.