Steve Glover became the fourth Metro school board member Monday to take the witness stand in federal court to deny any racial intent in voting for the new student assignment plan that ended the cross-town busing of black children.
Glover joined his colleagues David Fox, Mark North and Karen Johnson in testifying during a three-week hearing in the NAACP-backed lawsuit accusing the school board of discriminating against black students with the rezoning plan.
Glover said he voted for the plan in July 2008 in part because it lets north Nashville's parents choose whether to put their children on buses to Hillwood schools or send them to schools closer to home.
"I felt like it left open options for people to attend schools, specifically Pearl-Cohn," said Glover who represents Hermitage, Old Hickory and Donelson on the board.
Glover also denied he voted to oust former superintendent Pedro Garcia because opposed the rezoning plan as a resegregation of schools. Garcia was forced out because he was doing a poor job, Glover said.
Civil rights attorney Larry Woods pointed out the board voted to give Garcia $216,000 in severance pay.
"If he's not getting the job done, why did you vote to give him $216,000?" Woods asked.
"I think it was probably the choice of giving him the severance or tying the district up in a lawsuit for a long, long time," Glover said. "I thought this was probably the lesser of two things."