Brown: Yes, we do need a fundamental high school in south Pinellas
Pinellas School Board member Mary Brown took aim Tuesday at those who oppose the creation of a fundamental high school in south Pinellas, saying parents will leave district schools if they're not given more options.
She said south Pinellas not only needs a fundamental high school, but another fundamental elementary school and an IB middle school.
"If parents ever needed a choice in south county, they need it now," Brown said during Tuesday morning's School Board meeting, after recounting the issues that have cropped up in the return to neighborhood schools. "If we do not do something to keep the parents in south county ... St. Petersburg in particular will have a problem."
Brown's comments follow statements made last week by Watson Haynes and Goliath Davis, both members of the Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students, and by superintendent Julie Janssen. All three said creating a fundamental high school in south Pinellas would have negative repercussions on nearby high schools.
"Hello? We have six high schools in south Pinellas," Brown countered. "If we put a fundamental school there, the (other) kids don't all have to go to Gibbs and Lakewood. We have all these other schools there."
Brown then opened another can of worms, saying the school zones for those other schools must be changed to better balance the numbers of low-income students.
The board is expected to begin discussing this issue in detail at its workshop next Tuesday.