Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Class-size pressures could shift school's boundaries in Tampa

TAMPA — Florida's class-size amendment may push some Hillsborough County students from one elementary school to another, officials said Tuesday.

"James Elementary is over capacity and very tight," said William Person, general director of pupil placement. "And Robles Elementary is sitting about a mile and a half north with vacant classrooms."

Under a proposed boundary change, James students who live north of Hillsborough Avenue and east of 56th Street in Tampa would move to Robles this fall.

The idea — which would affect around 57 current James students — will be discussed at a parent meeting March 24, and then sent to superintendent MaryEllen Elia and the School Board for possible adoption.

"We're seeking community input before it goes any further," Person said.

If approved, it would be Hillsborough's first boundary change to comply with the final stage of the 2002 class-size constitutional amendment. Districts have spent around $16 billion to carry out the law, which limits school enrollment to 18 students per teacher in prekindergarten through third grade, 22 students in fourth through eighth grade, and 25 students in high school.

It might not be the last change, Person said. Officials are struggling with crowding at Cypress Creek Elementary and closely watching numbers at Bloomingdale and Alonso high schools.

"We may be able to go another year," he said of the situation at those schools. "If things are looking worse, we'll reopen this process of looking at boundaries."

But the wait appears to be over at James, where students are crammed into portable classrooms and competing for space with a prekindergarten program.

"There's no need to put (James) through that kind of stress year after year, when we've got available seats up there at Robles," Person said.

The parent meeting to discuss the possible boundary change will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 24 at James Elementary School.

Tom Marshall can be reached at or (813) 226-3400.

Class-size pressures could shift school's boundaries in Tampa 03/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease


    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term


    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges


    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?


    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination


    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.