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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No new rezoning recommendations for Pasco County School Board

16

January

Despite furious efforts from concerned parents, the Pasco County school district administration has not changed its recommendations on two school attendance zone revisions headed to the School Board on Tuesday.

"I haven't heard of any new recommendations," board chairman Allen Altman told the Gradebook.

Staff members have "worked on other reviews of material provided" by residents seeking to have the proposals changed, he said. But the board has not received any amended suggestions from the superintendent or his team, Altman said.

Assistant superintendent Betsy Kuhn said she had no changes to report.

"I've heard a phrase used by a lot of economic analysts when they say there is no good, clear choice: 'You just have the least smelly shirt in the hamper,'" Altman said. "Every citizen that has given us a recommendation has valid points, and there are valid points why it doesn't work in the overall scheme of things. While I wish there was a perfect solution, I have not seen one yet."

Board member Steve Luikart has pushed for a longer phase-in of any model, so students do not have to transfer schools more than once per level except by choice. He said he plans to continue to press for that idea during the board meeting, and would oppose the current options otherwise.

"I am writing out more, drawing up a 'What-if Plan B,' including some of the philosophies I had in Plan A," Luikart said. "I'm standing my ground."

He wouldn't predict how his colleagues, who backed the superintendent's recommendations on first reading, would vote.

Altman said he liked the district's rezoning process, which he found transparent, well publicized and filled with plenty of opportunity for input over several months. Parents have challenged each of those positions, saying they're not sure exactly how the advisory committees, and then the superintendent, came to their recommendations.

Still, Altman acknowledged the need to have a discussion to determine if any changes could benefit future boards through boundary changes. He said that conversation will happen later in the spring.

[Last modified: Monday, January 16, 2017 12:33pm]

    

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