Mayor Bell, Supt. Witherspoon host town hall meeting - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Mayor Bell, Supt. Witherspoon host town hall meeting

Source: Sherea Harris Source: Sherea Harris

There are changes coming to Birmingham City Schools, and that was the focus of a public forum Monday with the Superintendent Craig Witherspoon and Mayor William Bell.

There was also talk of more taxes.

For parents who have concerns about their child's school, this was the time to speak out.

Dr. Craig Witherspoon addressed concerns and also used this meeting to update parents about the positive things going on, "For example in the last three years we've tripled the number of students taking advance placement courses."

Witherspoon says the school system is making changes that could retain more students and increase the population in schools.

Witherspoon said, "We feel like these things we have been doing like academies…look at the thing in schools to beef up our curricular offerings, that parents will realize that there are great things happening in the school system lets stay here. And if you're somewhere else and these academic peak interest we could perhaps attract students who aren't with us now."

Witherspoon also says the school system is one year away from having an international baccalaureate program. But funding is still needed to complete that process. The district also needs more cash for Pre-K programs, foreign languages and other specialty academic programs.

Where would that money come from? Mayor William Bell spoke about a proposed $3-mill property tax increase. He also spoke about another plan to raise more money for city projects.

The mayor says if voters approve a bond referendum, it'll authorize up to $150,000,000 that will go to improve streets, lighting, drainage and parks.

This was the first of three forums.

Another is planned for Monday at the Davis Center in downtown Birmingham.

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