The Associated Press is bringing you a close look at Alabama’s schools as they close and what that means for students and families.
The AP’s report, which focuses on a group of Southern states that includes Alabama, was published Wednesday.
In addition to schools in the Birmingham area, the AP is reporting that Alabama has closed all but two elementary schools, closed all the high schools and closed all four middle schools.
The closures are affecting a total of 9,945 students and 6,821 staff members.
In a statement released to The Associated Statesman, the Alabama Department of Education says the closings have been made “because of a lack of money, financial constraints, and inadequate staffing levels.”
A spokesperson for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said the closures are being made as a result of the “long-term financial impact of the state’s budget crisis.”
The closures include two elementary and two middle schools, as well as three high schools, according to the department.
The Alabama Department for Education said students will be able to attend schools in Alabama’s cities.
The state Department for Community Affairs has offered the following advice: “Parents and students are encouraged to contact the school and make sure they have all the information they need to make an informed decision about the best course of action for their children and for the school system.”
In a separate release, the department said students may choose to return to school at other times and that they may need to reschedule if a school is not open.
The department said the closure of the schools in Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Tuscumbia is not affecting students or the public.
Mobile High School will be open.
Mobile’s school district is asking residents to come home by noon Friday to take advantage of the school day program.
For information on rescheduling, call 800-859-2439.
Mobile County has asked residents to rescheddule their schools.
Mobile City Schools is offering a rescheduled school day at 11 a.m.
Saturday for students who missed a scheduled class on Wednesday.
“The reschedules are being put in place to provide flexibility to the schools that may need it, especially those with students in need,” said school spokeswoman Susan L. Johnson.
Schools will be reschedulings throughout the state on Friday and Saturday.
In Tuscany, schools will reopen on Friday for students with a medical emergency.
In Alabama, students in Birmingham who live in Alabama will be allowed to return home on Saturday.
Schools that were closed on Wednesday will be reopening Thursday, the statement said.
Birmingham schools are open.
Schools are also open in Mobile, Montgomery and Troup.
Mobile is asking that students and parents stay home.
The Mobile County Board of Education has issued a notice asking students and their families to stay home on Thursday and Friday for a special school day.
“If you need to come and get your children, go home to your parents, and if you need your kids to come back home to you, go back home,” said Montgomery County School Board member Chris Jones.
The school district will offer free lunch and school supplies.
Schools closed Thursday include schools in Mobile; Montgomery; Tuscilla; Troup; Tuba City; Birmingham; Mobile; Mobile County; Montgomery County; and Toccoa.
The Associated Schools of Alabama will reopen Friday and provide students and staff with free textbooks, transportation and other assistance.
In Birmingham, schools reopened for students on Thursday.
The Birmingham City Schools website is open for students, staff and parents to help make arrangements.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said the school district was not going to offer free school meals on Thursday but he urged parents to contact school officials to make arrangements for their child.
Bell said parents should bring in school supplies and other school materials, including books and toys.
He urged people to call schools for more information.
Birmingham Public Schools is accepting donations of school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils and markers.
Birmingham’s School Board is asking parents to send items to the Alabama Civil Rights Museum at 1201 S. Washington St. Birmingham is also offering free transportation to and from schools and to a community center.
Birmingham school officials are working to provide students with transportation, meals and other support, including clothing and school uniforms.
Schools reopen for students Thursday.
Birmingham City Councilman Brian Jones said students should stay home because they may be at risk of losing their jobs.
Schools in Mobile will be reopened Thursday.
Mobile Public Schools will open at 7 p.m., with some classes rescheduming Friday.
Mobile schools are also offering a free bus service to help students get home on Friday.
The city is also accepting donations for the Mobile Civil Rights Center, which has been providing free meals and transportation to students and other staff.
Mobile also is accepting contributions for the Alabama Youth Empowerment Fund, which helps needy teens who attend schools throughout the city.
Schools have also been offering free lunch to all students