New school rezoning plan in Hoover requires new community meetings
School rezoning is once again up for debate in Hoover. Hoover's new superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy plans for the rezoning to take effect in the 2016 school year. Community meetings begin next week.
Last year's rezoning effort was led by former superintendent Andy Craig. Dr. Murphy tells ABC 33/40 that while she respects Craig's work, she's starting her rezoning plan from scratch. She wants to hear from parents directly, instead of relying on old notes.
"Oh I went to almost all of the meetings last year," said Gianna Zellner.
Zellner plans to go to this year's rezoning meetings, too. Her daughter goes to Spain Park High School.
"She went through Riverchase Elementary and went through Berry and would I be upset if she moved to Hoover High? Sure. But if it happens, it happens. There isn't a whole lot we can do about it."
Zellner admits last year's rezoning meetings were frustrating, but says she has more faith in Dr. Kathy Murphy.
"I'm hoping people will trust her a little bit more," said Zellner.
Dr. Murphy knows she has a big job ahead of her and says she's starting her rezoning plan with fresh eyes.
"I have not picked up any old plan and dusted it off and in my mind thinking this is it," Murphy told ABC 33/40. "I do respect any planning that has already gone into this. But I'm very open at this point and very willing to hear from our community."
A new plan will mean new community meetings.
"I respect the fact that some very productive meetings have been held," said Murphy. "But, as a new superintendent, I would dare not believe that just based on reading some reports or having someone translate for me the content of those meetings would be adequate for me to make decisions."
Rezoning is needed for two reasons. First, some schools are overcapacity while others are underutilized. Second, Murphy says the Department of Justice is watching.
"Making sure we have some equity in terms of the distribution of those students racially," explained Murphy.
Dr. Murphy says she wants to hear from as many parents as possible. She says parents can attend any meeting that fits their schedule, regardless of which community it is in. She is also launching a new email address and website next week for parents to weigh in online.
Here is the list of meetings released from Hoover City Schools: