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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Rezoning hearing scheduled for two Pasco elementary schools

Plans to move students out of Shady Hills and Quail Hollow elementary schools continue to move forward in Pasco County, despite the efforts by some parents to stall the renovation projects that are causing the relocations.

On Tuesday, the School Board will have its first of two hearings on new attendance zones for the children at the schools, which will close for a couple of years as the construction occurs. The administration announced these plans in February, saying it would accelerate the two items from the county's renewed Penny for Pasco sales tax project list.

A group of parents from the Shady Hills area have barraged the district with letters and comments during public meetings, expressing their outrage at the fast pace at which the administration moved to relocate their children for the sake of the improvements. They submitted hundreds of signatures on a petition opposing the move of the students to nearby Crews Lake Middle School, which will operate as a K-8 campus.

"The children are afraid of what is going to happen to them," parent Larry Walters told the School Board at a recent meeting. "It makes me wonder why you are rushing this."

But the rezoning for Shady Hills really requires no action at all, as the students' school is changing but not their attendance boundaries. That leaves the concerned residents without that leverage to pressure with the board, as they try to slow the process (which superintendent Kurt Browning has shown no indication of reversing).

Complaints from the Quail Hollow zone, which will be divided between Wesley Chapel and Watergrass elementary schools, have been minimal.

If approved at the first reading, the final approval is scheduled for June 4.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:04pm]


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