The dollar amount in BP oil spill settlements is causing some to scratch their heads. For example, Mobile County only got $800,000 more than Jefferson County—that’s Birmingham. School systems also benefitted—including Saraland, which is 40 miles from the gulf.
There’s no arguing that the more than three million gallons of oil from the BP oil spill affected a lot of people. But the effect seems to be a bit more far reaching than previously thought. Not only were businesses and industries along the coastline hard hit, school systems felt the pinch.
“The firm of Campbell, Duke and Campbell was diligent in the process and did an excellent job for our school board,” says Milner.
Saraland City School superintendent Dr. Aaron Milner says the $500,000 they received will be put in part to expanding the career and technical education program at Saraland High.
“We’ll have welding, pre-engineering, we’ll have great opportunities for our kids, we’re expanding our health science program. It’s pretty obvious with the industry that’s come to our area that we’ve been so blessed to have,” says Milner.
The Saraland School System is more than 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, so we wanted to know why they were receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the BP oil spill settlement to make these improvements. Superintendent Milner says they were affected too.
“It was based on the loss of tax revenue and other formula agreed upon with BP,” says Milner.
That formula takes into consideration the county and state sales tax that Saraland schools receive. That’s similar to Baldwin County schools who got $3 million—they benefit from a one cent sales tax.
so where does the Mobile County Public School System fit into the formula?
We got confirmation late today that Mobile county schools are in an active lawsuit still with BP. This means that they did not settle like the other school systems because the deadline to settle has passed. MCPSS is taking BP to court and is in it for the long haul, and we’ll let give you an update when and if there is an amount awarded.