HCS not implementing rezoning for coming academic year

Published 10:22 pm Sunday, May 22, 2016

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—Students in the Hoover City School System will not be rezoned for the 2016-2017 academic year, HCS Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy announced in a May 20 letter.

United States District Court Judge Madeline Haikala granted the rezoning plan preliminary approval, but withheld final approval “pending additional work from the school district, the United States Department of Justice and the Legal Defense and Educational Fund,” Murphy wrote.

The Hoover School System will retain the 2015-2016 academic year attendance zones for the coming school year while the district works with the DOJ and LDF to develop a plan to attain unitary status.

“During this upcoming school year, we will continue our work on rezoning and continue our focus on all children,” Murphy wrote. “We will keep our community fully informed regarding our progress.”

The rezoning plan, approved by the city’s Board of Education on March 7, was a piece of the district’s work to achieve unitary status and satisfy the DOJ’s Green factors—Equality across transportation, facilities, clubs and organizations, student assignments, staff assignments and faculty assignments.

“The school district will develop a comprehensive plan with the DOJ and LDF that demonstrates a path toward unitary status,” Murphy wrote. “The plan will address not only student assignment, but all the factors that must be satisfied to achieve unitary status.”

Many people in both the school system and the Hoover community helped to create the rezoning plan over the past months. The plan was first revealed to the public on Feb. 4. Members of the community attended public meetings and submitted feedback on the plan.

“The time invested this year in the proposed rezoning plan has been well spent and has given us an important framework from which to continue our progress,” Murphy wrote. “Please know how valuable your input has been.”