The redrawing of school attendance zones for Hoover City Schools likely will not occur for the 2017-18 school year, Superintendent Kathy Murphy announced tonight.
There is not enough time at this point to thoughtfully and respectfully implement a rezoning plan for the fall, Murphy said in a news release.
The Hoover school system is still waiting for the federal court to give final approval for the rezoning plan that received preliminary approval in May 2016, but school officials believe students and families need some answers about the next school year, Murphy said.
“It appears we will just not have the time to thoughtfully and reflectively take all of the steps we need to take to implement rezoning for this coming August,” Murphy said.
She plans to ask U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala to grant the rezoning request for the 2018-19 school year instead so families, employees and the community will have plenty of time to prepare, she said.
“We believe we have addressed in a timely and thorough manner the questions presented to us by the other parties (United States Department of Justice, the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund),” Murphy said. “These parties, along with our counsel, have approached this work in a positive and collaborative manner. This process has not only helped the other parties to understand more about our district; it has helped us to reflect more deeply on our own hopes, dreams and goals for the children we serve.”
The work of rezoning and path to be removed from federal supervision of desegregation efforts can be complicated and challenging, but the vision is clear, Murphy said.
“If we continue to focus on giving every individual child the educational opportunities they deserve and if we are willing to work tirelessly to that end, the promise of a unitary system will be absolutely fulfilled,” Murphy said. “And we will get there not we have to, but because we want to — for our children.”
The school district remains committed to redraw attendance zones to address capacity issues and meet federal desegregation goals, the district’s statement said. Hoover schools are focused on providing the very best education possible to the children the community has entrusted to them, the statement said.