Category: Birmingham City Schools

Board of Education President Criticizes Woodfin’s Plan to Cut Funding for Birmingham Schools

Though she insisted that she was “absolutely not here in my professional capacity,” Birmingham School Board President Daagye Hendricks addressed the Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, calling Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed FY 2021 budget “egregious” for cutting funding to city schools.

This year’s city budget is nearly $50 million smaller than last year’s budget, thanks to a sharp decline in the city’s business tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the $412 million budget’s many proposed austerity measures — which include funding cuts for external organizations and furloughs for hundreds of city employees — is a reduction of $1 million in city funding to Birmingham City Schools.
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Budget Blows to Birmingham Schools and Transit Being Cushioned, Other Groups are Not as Lucky

Mayor Randall Woodfin defended some controversial cuts in his proposed FY 2021 budget Tuesday, arguing that, despite a significant drop in city funding, both Birmingham City Schools and the Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority would continue to operate as usual. Much of the money they lost will be made up by funds from elsewhere.

Many other groups, including the library system, zoo and Railroad Park, are facing much bigger consequences. Read more.

Birmingham Schools Announce Online-Only Learning for First 9 Weeks

UPDATED — Dr. Mark Sullivan announced in a Wednesday press conference that all Birmingham City Schools would be starting the school year virtually on Aug. 24. Sullivan, the interim superintendent for BCS, made the announcement with Birmingham Board of Education members.

All learning will be online for the first nine-week grading period. BCS will evaluate the safety of returning to in-person learning after that.

“This decision was not made lightly, but at this juncture I believe it is our best option to assure the quality of education that we have for our students and to maintain a safe, nurturing environment for all of our students,” Sullivan said. Read more.

Birmingham Superintendent Lisa Herring Stepping Down to Lead Atlanta Public Schools

Birmingham school Superintendent Lisa Herring is leaving to become superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. She is expected to remain head of Birmingham City Schools through the end of May, at which point she will return to her home state of Georgia.

The Birmingham school system announced Tuesday Herring has been named the “sole finalist” for the post in Atlanta.
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Birmingham Promise Scholarship and Internship Program Gets Corporate Backers

Mayor Randall Woodfin announced Tuesday that three corporate foundations — Alabama Power, Altec/Styslinger and Regions — have each committed $1 million to the new Birmingham Promise educational initiative.

The Birmingham Promise initiative initially was approved as part of the city’s FY 2020 budget, funded with $2 million taken from the city’s allocation to Birmingham City Schools. The program is planned to offer juniors and seniors in city schools paid internships and dual enrollment opportunities, as well as offering graduates the opportunity to attend in-state two-year or four-year public colleges tuition-free.

The $3 million in corporate contributions announced Tuesday will go “a long way” toward the tuition assistance side of the Birmingham Promise, Woodfin said. Read more.

Education Town Hall Set for Jan. 15

A town hall meeting on the status of education in Birmingham has been set for Jan. 15, 6-8 p.m. State Reps. Mary Moore and John Rogers, both D-Birmingham, set the town hall, called “Where Do We Go From Here.” Moore said a number of local and state Board of Education members as well as local and state elected officials have been invited to speak.

Birmingham School Superintendent Receives 3.55 out of 5 in Evaluation

Birmingham’s school superintendent has “met expectations and goals for improvement” according to an evaluation presented at Tuesday’s board meeting.

On a 1 to 5 scale, Superintendent Lisa Herring received a 3.55 rating.

Two metrics were used in the evaluation: a rating based on benchmarks set out by the district’s strategic plan (3.36) and a cumulative score from board members (3.75). Those two scores were averaged to produce the final number. Read more.

Almost One-Third of Schools on the Statewide Failing Schools List Are in the Birmingham Area

The state Department of Education released its annual list of failing schools Friday and Birmingham-area schools make up 30% of the schools on the statewide list.

Six of the area districts, Birmingham City Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Bessemer City Schools, Fairfield Schools, Tarrant Schools and Midfield Schools had schools on the list.

The list is composed of the bottom 6% of schools based on students’ standardized test scores.

Although Birmingham City Schools had 16 schools on the list, Superintendent Lisa Herring said: “We are not a failing school system. We recognize there is work to be done. We are a turnaround district, and we will not be satisfied until every scholar in our district is highly successful.” Read more.