Some people in the Butler County are voicing their opinions on problems they believe the county school system is facing. On Sunday, many of them met to talk about those concerns. They invited the school board and superintendent hoping to get answers -- but no one showed up to listen.
Meeting organizers say the whole point of the forum was to talk about those issues and to also create ideas for solutions to propose to the Butler County School Board. Some of those issues include student retainment and keeping parents and school administrators more accountable.
A public forum turns into a war of words concerning issues that some people believe the Butler County school system is facing. It's a meeting that's left many concerned parents and teachers without answers because the school board and the superintendent DID NOT attend the meeting.
"I was hoping by having people who were concerned to come to the table to talk about it, maybe we can put our heads together and come up with something that we could at least try one or tw things that were different... I'd hoped that the board would be here," Said meeting moderator, Allison Upshaw.
Still -- the hope to propose solutions was the the plan for dozens who attended the meeting, like Laura Fuller...
"We've lost so many students and I want to know why. And I know where they are. And I know that we'll probably not get most of them back," Said Fuller. She says her children are still in the school system, but she's now driving 30 minutes twice a day to take her children to school. Fuller says she's afraid accountability from school administration will push other parents further than her -- across county lines.
Records from the State Department of Education show there are 233 students that have left the the Butler County School system in the last four years. About 60 of those students who left are now attending private schools while still living in the county. Parent, Brandon Sellers, says it shouldn't be that way.
"When we lose students, we lose teaching units, which means we lose that many teachers that can be hired by the school system and when we lose teachers we lose money for the other students and that's a spiraling cycle that's spiraling downwards," Said Sellers.
The school system now has 201 teachers, which is down 18 teachers from four years ago. Alabama News Network attempted to call several board members and superintendent, Darren Douthitt, however our calls were not returned.
The group also talked about how to increase parent involvement and improve discipline in the schools. A school board meeting is set for Tuesday, when the Board of Education will decide whether to renew the superintendent's contract.