Huntsville town hall addresses school academics, transportation

Huntsville town hall addresses school academics, transportation
Huntsville City Schools held a town hall on April 2, 2018. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Dr. Matt Akin, the Huntsville City Schools superintendent, held a Town Hall at Providence School Monday night. It was part of his citywide tour.

Achievement gaps, an inability to retain teachers, and ongoing bus issues topped the conversation.

Kim Lewis has a third-grade daughter at Providence School. She's worried about growth. Living in the annexed part of Limestone County in Huntsville, Lewis says the overpopulated school means crowded buses.

"Our neighborhood is actually one of the first ones to get on the bus, so she would one of the last ones getting home. So if she got on the bus at 6:40 in the mornings it would close to 4:00 before she gets home in the evening," Lewis said.

As more students squeeze into the system when projects like the Toyota-Mazda plant opens up shop, the system will burst at its seams.

"I asked the question tonight to the superintendent about a plan, and I don't think they have one. I think they've thought about it, but a plan hasn't been developed on how to handle the expansion," Lewis said.

Pam Hill represents District 5 on the school board. She calls the area the largest district with the least amount of schools.

"I already knew the problems that District 5 has and like Dr. Akin said, I share them with him all the time, but it's so much more powerful when it comes from a parent," Hill said.

Some people charge the board to do more. They criticize their divisiveness for stalled growth. Hill says she believes the board can do more and that she wouldn't want personal agendas to impede productivity.

Parents and Akin called Monday night's meeting a step in the right direction. Akin says his team will take their concerns and develop new plans to fix issues within the city.

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