Warn homebuyers about school rezonings, Pasco superintendent urges real estate brokers
It's no secret that many parents study school performance and reputation when choosing which home to buy.
Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning wants them to know that there's no guarantee that they'll always be zoned to the same school. And he's turning to area real estate agents to help him spread the word.
"When parents buy a home based on the schools the address is assigned to at the time, they expect to be assigned to that school for as long as they live in that home. That cannot be promised, and we are asking realtors to make it clear to homebuyers that although they currently live within certain schools' boundaries, that is very likely to change as population growth continues to fill our schools beyond their intended capacity," Browning wrote in a letter addressed to Tampa Bay Area Realtors.
"It is unfair to allow families to believe that the homes they are buying come with certain schools when the county's growth is at its current rapid pace, requiring rezoning to keep schools from becoming over capacity."
He wrote his note as the district is redrawing boundaries for elementary schools in the Odessa area, and middle and high schools in both the Trinity and Wesley Chapel communities. Hundreds, if not thousands, of children will be reassigned to different schools as part of the effort.
Parents who don't want to change have been vocal about their dismay, while those who support the moves have been equally outspoken. Over the weekend, residents of the Trinity Preserve subdivision launched an email campaign to urge district leaders to leave their homes within the Seven Springs Middle-Mitchell High zone.
Browning and others have stressed that no decisions have been made, and that the School Board will have two public hearings before making its final vote. Growth in the area will continue to drive the district's actions, he wrote to the Realtors.
"Currently, we are aware of new housing permits that could add more than 12,000 new students to our schools along the 54 corridor," he wrote. "As new homes are built, more schools will be impacted and more boundary lines will have to be redrawn."
A committee of parents and district officials is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to begin the rezoning process for the Trinity schools. Committees have already started creating maps for the Odessa and Wesley Chapel schools.