Hoover parents had their say on discrimination in city schools Thursday night, and their words could help shape how school leaders in Hoover deal with race issues.
Hoover schools want to emerge from federal oversight, required by an ongoing desegregation lawsuit. Part of the process involves drafting a plan around diversity and seeking community feedback.
Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff will make a series of recruiting trips to Alabama’s education colleges looking for the best new teachers for his schools.
He’ll try to sell candidates on what his small, rural district can offer them.
There are $4,000 signing bonuses for high school math and science teachers and special education teachers in any grade.
There are attendance bonuses for all employees. Perfect attendance gets $400 at the end of the year.
Kallhoff has even taken steps to help new teachers find homes, putting together a list of area landlords happy to rent to them.
Some of the benefits for teachers aren’t monetary. For example, the system runs a “teacher bus” between its four schools at the end of the school day, picking up children and taking them to their educator parents.
Alabama has a teacher shortage that educators say has reached crisis level, especially in rural areas, and there are fewer new teachers coming out of colleges. So, Kallhoff and other superintendents are doing whatever they can — whatever their budgets allow — to attract and keep educators. A state task force also has been studying the shortage and possible solutions to it.
Even with the $4,000 signing bonus, something not all systems can afford to offer, Kallhoff has had a special education position open for more than a year.
Systems need help, he says.
“There need to be some statewide initiatives,” Kallhoff said. “We’re quick to give tax breaks to large corporations. Why not a tax break for math, science and special education teachers?” Read more.
Students at colleges in the Birmingham area researched lynchings of 30 victims, including facts they found mostly in government documents and press reports, along with some of their impressions of the situations. Here are links to the victims’ stories.