Board Of Education President Criticizes Woodfin’s Plan To Cut Funding For Birmingham Schools

 ========= Old Image Removed =========1Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2019/10/IMG_3212-e1646852398188.jpeg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:4032;s:6:"height";i:2268;s:4:"file";s:36:"2019/10/IMG_3212-e1646852398188.jpeg";s:5:"sizes";a:12:{s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-140x140.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-336x189.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:189;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-768x432.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:432;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-771x434.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:434;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:34:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-80x80.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-800x450.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:800;s:6:"height";i:450;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-600x600.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-553x311.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:553;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-470x265.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:470;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-125x125.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:37:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-1536x864.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:864;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"2048x2048";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:38:"IMG_3212-e1646852398188-2048x1152.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:2048;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:3:"1.8";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:9:"iPhone XR";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:10:"1571219313";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:4:"4.25";s:3:"iso";s:2:"25";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:18:"0.0013850415512465";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"1";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Miranda Fulmore
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => WBHM
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

    [_wp_attachment_backup_sizes] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:24:{s:9:"full-orig";a:3:{s:5:"width";i:4032;s:6:"height";i:3024;s:4:"file";s:13:"IMG_3212.jpeg";}s:14:"thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-140x140.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:11:"medium-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-336x252.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:252;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:17:"medium_large-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-768x576.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:576;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:10:"large-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-771x578.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:578;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"wbhm-icon-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:19:"IMG_3212-80x80.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-600x338.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"wbhm-featured-square-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-300x300.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:300;s:6:"height";i:300;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:23:"wbhm-featured-home-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-415x311.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:415;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:27:"wbhm-featured-carousel-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-353x265.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:353;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:19:"post-thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"IMG_3212-125x125.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"full-1646852398188";a:3:{s:5:"width";i:4032;s:6:"height";i:3024;s:4:"file";s:28:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673.jpeg";}s:23:"thumbnail-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-140x140.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"medium-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-336x252.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:252;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:26:"medium_large-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-768x576.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:576;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:19:"large-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-771x578.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:578;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"1536x1536-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:38:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-1536x1152.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"2048x2048-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:38:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-2048x1536.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:2048;s:6:"height";i:1536;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:23:"wbhm-icon-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:34:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-80x80.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:27:"wbhm-featured-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-800x450.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:800;s:6:"height";i:450;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:34:"wbhm-featured-square-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-600x600.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:32:"wbhm-featured-home-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-415x311.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:415;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:36:"wbhm-featured-carousel-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-353x265.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:353;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"post-thumbnail-1646852398188";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"IMG_3212-e1646851319673-125x125.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}
        )

    [_wp_attachment_image_alt] => Array
        (
            [0] => Birmingham City Schools school bus
        )

)
1622054602 
1598985590
Birmingham City Schools school bus

Miranda Fulmore, WBHM

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.

Birmingham School Board President Daagye Hendricks (Birmingham City Council Facebook Page)

Woodfin has argued that this reduction is offset by increases in revenue from capital expenditures, which is an appropriated portion of the city’s sales tax on construction materials. Birmingham City Schools received $2.1 million in capital expenditure dollars last year, and are slated to receive $2.8 million for the 2021 fiscal year. For FY 2022, officials estimate that construction projects such as the BJCC’s planned open-air stadium will increase that amount to $5.2 million.

“Promising possible tax revenue is nice, but the children start school on September 8,” Hendricks said Tuesday. “We understand you’ve got some hard decisions to make… but to say we need zero funding for 22,000 students is just egregious… We must do more, and we must do better.”

Woodfin dismissed Hendricks’ criticism, pointing out that the city’s appropriation is a small fraction of the school system’s roughly $300 million budget. The vast majority of BCS funding comes from the state, as well as the city’s ad valorem property tax revenue.

“What we’ve been giving on top of that out of our general fund is at the discretion of us, when there is a surplus and we’ve got extra money to give because we believe in our school system,” Woodfin said. “There is no extra money this year… I’m not here to pit the school system against (the council) but I know politics when I see it.”

Woodfin added that a “significant portion” of the city’s $1 million would have gone to security guards. BCS’ FY 2020 budget allocated just over $2 million to school security.

“I am not comfortable recommending that $1 million go to the school system for adult (security guards), because you would be exchanging $1 million for them in exchange for furloughing more of our (city) employees,” Woodfin told the council. “Which one do you want to do? Because it’s not going to our children.”

In contrast, the $2 million still allocated to Woodfin’s public-private Birmingham Promise initiativewhich came out of BCS funding last year— “goes directly to the children,” he argued.
District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, who’s been the council’s most vehement critic of Woodfin’s budget, said he might be willing to accept Woodfin’s argument “if we (the council) had been included in the process” of creating the budget. “It takes both sides running this city, and we should have been at the table,” he said. “You obviously don’t care what we think because you’ve not included us in the process.”

The council will have to pass Woodfin’s proposed budget before it goes into effect. A budget hearing with members of the school board will likely take place next Wednesday, Council President William Parker said.

 

Birmingham-Southern baseball team vies for an NCAA title as the school prepares to close

When Coach Jan Weisberg called the Birmingham-Southern College baseball team to an impromptu meeting on March 27, players were confused. They gathered together in the locker room and found out the news – BSC would close on May 31.

EPA formally denies Alabama’s plan for coal ash waste

The federal agency says the state’s plan was not as protective as federal standards, allowing toxic waste to remain in unlined pits that may contaminate groundwater. Alabama officials say they will appeal.

Here’s what you said were the hidden gems in Walker County

There are things we notice about where we live that others might miss. That might be a hidden gem or other surprise. We set out to discover a few of them in Walker County at our recent News and Brews community pop-up.

After years of increases, Jefferson County sees a decline in overdose fatalities

Following years of record-breaking increases, Jefferson County is finally seeing a decline in overdose fatalities. We talk to local officials to better understand the reasons for the drop, and if it’s a sign of a longer-term trend.

Alabama district attorney says ‘justice demands’ new trial for death row inmate

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr filed a brief expressing his support for Toforest Johnson’s bid to receive a new trial. Carr has supported a new trial since 2020, but the latest filing detailed the findings of a post-conviction review of the case.

After decisive loss at Alabama Mercedes plants, powerful auto union vows to return and win

Newly elected UAW President Shawn Fain said the union will return to Mercedes and will press on with efforts to organize about 150,000 workers at more than a dozen auto factories across the nation.

More BirminghamWatch Coverage