State superintendent's office not consulted by Hoover bus fees proposal, superintendent says

After the Hoover Board of Education approved school bus fees Thursday evening, State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice said in a statement he is "surprised by the actions of the Hoover Board of Education" and the fees appear to violate state law.

The fee schedule charges students who are not at or below the poverty level $2.26 per day or $40.75 a month to ride the bus.

Below is a statement from Dr. Tommy Bice:

"Transportation is an essential function of the education system and we want to ensure that all students have equal access to safe, reliable transportation to and from school. We were surprised by the actions of the Hoover Board of Education last evening regarding fees for transportation services, as we had not been consulted on the proposal.

The fact that Alabama state code dictates that no fees can be collected from any children attending any of the first six grades of a city school is a concern (Section 16-11-26). This code specification alone would make a significant percentage of Hoover's bus riding population ineligible for rider fees. We are reviewing the possible legal and associated ramifications of the proposal and will be meeting with Hoover's leadership early next week to share our findings and provide our input."