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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco parents challenge district data in school rezoning effort

16

November

Several parents living in the Meadow Pointe subdivision of Wesley Chapel urged the Pasco County School Board on Tuesday not to move their children into different schools next fall.

Their neighborhoods have been recommended for rezoning by a committee charged with drawing new middle and high school attendance boundaries to accommodate a new school and ease crowding at existing campuses.

As part of their plea, the parents contended that the district planning department provided inaccurate student numbers on a proposal that would have left their communities in Wiregrass Ranch High and John Long Middle, and moved children living in the Seven Oaks subdivision instead. Had the committee known the figures were wrong, they said, the members might have chosen a different path.

"Look at the data and evidence supporting this," parent Andria Peek said.

Parent Karen DiBrango added to the argument, referring to a letter written by a Florida Department of Transportation traffic engineering specialist that supported their view that "Option 20" would have the "best traffic pattern for the state roads (by far)." The committee rejected Option 20, choosing Option 12 instead. (See all the possibilities here.)

District planning director Chris Williams said he had not seen the FDOT materials, which the parents had requested. His staff will review it along with the questions about student numbers attached to each possible rezoning option, Williams added.

"If there is anything in error, we'll fix it," Williams said. "When we reconvene with the committee, we'll double check with them."

The committee will meet Dec. 2, after a parent town hall meeting, to discuss whether it wants to maintain its recommendation or change it. 

The group preparing new boundaries for southwest Pasco middle and high schools gathers Thursday morning at Gulf High School to work on its final proposal. Its parent town hall meeting took place on Monday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 6:47pm]

    

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