Pelham looking at forming city school system

Shelby County may soon have a new school system. Pelham leaders say education in the city needs more attention. The council voted to do a feasibility study on whether a new school district would be possible.

The city of Pelham will soon study whether it's time to break away from Shelby County Schools and start its own district. Council President, Rick Hayes, says "Our city's foundation will always be our schools. If we don't educate our kids the best we possibly can the city will never be as strong as it could be."

Councilman Ron Scott says the five schools in the city are under funded by the district. Hayes says all need improvements. "We need to re-invigorate schools we have today that we will maintain, but we need to add a school, we need to re-locate a school."

Hayes says the possible benefits of separation would mean more programs and money for individual schools. Parent Lee Vaughn had this to say, "I think they could do a wonderful job with it. I think they manage their resources very well."

A firm will now research how much money would be available to form a new district, like its neighbor Alabaster, recently did. Hayes says "We should have just as much with our own system and could have a lot more depending on how everything comes out."

Hayes also says some parents have concerns with the Shelby County School System.. but not every parent is sure about Pelham branching off. Leah Convington says "I'd rather wait and see how Alabaster goes. I don't know if Pelham has enough homeowners. I don't know if they get any income in to start a new school district. I'm pretty happy with Shelby County Schools. I would have to learn more about it."

The council also approved a resolution giving schools in the city money to help pay for needs on a wish list.

ABC 33/40 did contact the Shelby County School System about this, but the superintendent was not ready to give a comment.