BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Some Birmingham parents are questioning spending millions of dollars on a new stadium when city schools are doing so poorly. The state department of education graded 22 schools with an F. "I was displeased. I was displeased." Bridget Johnson said.
Johnson's grand children attend West End Academy. The school got an F from the state. Johnson thinks more should go to education and her son agrees. "I think money going to the stadium is a waste. We already have Legion Field which they have said many times they are going to repair that," Cedric Jackson said.
The city of Birmingham is committing $3 million to build the $174 million stadium. Not everyone agrees with that decision. WBRC Fox6 News reported Birmingham lawmaker John Rogers wants to change a car rental tax from funding the stadium to help people pay their utility bills. "I will put it to a vote of the people in the bill. They can make the decision. If they want to put in the stadium or help with the water bills." Rogers said.
On Friday, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin remained committed to that stadium project. "We have to generate new revenue in order to invest in an our priorities. The bottom line is this, I'm looking forward to having a continued conversation with John Rogers," Woodfin said.
The mayor stood with Birmingham superintendent Lisa Herring and promised to do whatever is necessary to improve Birmingham schools. "Make no doubt about that. I will stand with our superintendent and her leadership making the hard tough and innovative decisions to make education work for our children here in Birmingham," Woodfin said.
Birmingham is now putting more money into city schools about $3 million. Still, Monday a community activist group Citizens for Better Schools is expected to voice their opposition to Birmingham funding the stadium. The council may take up the funding issue on Tuesday.