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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

New Pasco County school attendance zones will remain in place during appeal

Administrative Judge D.R. Alexander, center, hears testimony on a challenge to redrawn west Pasco school attendance zones in February. Alexander has denied a stay of the changes pending an appeal to his ruling in the case.

Times file photo

Administrative Judge D.R. Alexander, center, hears testimony on a challenge to redrawn west Pasco school attendance zones in February. Alexander has denied a stay of the changes pending an appeal to his ruling in the case.

Having lost their case challenging the Pasco County School Board's revised west-side middle and high school attendance zones, the complaining parents asked administrative judge D.R. Alexander to delay the implementation while they appealed his decision in court.

Without explanation, Alexander has ruled against the request.

In his brief order, he noted only that he had reviewed the plaintiff's petition and school district's response before making a decision.

The district opposed the motion for six reasons, not the least of which was that its budget and student assignment efforts for the new school year would be threatened by a stay.

"A stay of the Respondent's implementation of the 2017 / 2018 School Attendance Boundaries would interfere significantly with the Respondent's ability to develop a budget for the 2017 / 2018 school year, the process for which is substantially regulated by Florida Statutes," board attorney Dennis Alfonso wrote. "Moreover, a stay would prevent the Respondent from relieving the overcrowding at the affected western Pasco County schools."

He added that the district already has begun using the new attendance zones to develop bus routes, and "a stay thereof would substantially disrupt the operation of schools in Pasco County."

Soon after Alexander's ruling, a new lawyer, Sharon Britton, filed appearance papers for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs also have canceled their request for a June 2 hearing on their motion for a temporary injunction against the rezoning.

Students resume classes Aug. 14.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:48pm]

    

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