NORTH TAMPA — Tuesday will be a day of reckoning for New Tampa and North Tampa families concerned about school boundaries.
Going before the board for approval is a proposal to move hundreds of students from crowded inner-city schools to the suburbs, and attendance boundary line changes that will shuffle students at five middle schools.
Parents have met both proposals with contention.
With no room to build out, the district is proposing to move 338 students next year from the largely low-income minority area of University Area into schools in predominantly white New Tampa: 156 Shaw students to Hunter's Green Elementary and 182 Witter students to Clark Elementary.
Some parents at Clark and Hunter's Green are upset the school system didn't ask for their advice, but did notify parents at Shaw and Witter. That process was in accordance with district policy of notifying only the schools that will lose students, said Steve Ayers, director of pupil administrative services.
The attendance boundaries for Sgt. Smith Middle, scheduled to open in August in Citrus Park, have been in the works for more than a year. Most parents appear content with the plan, which moves students around Davidsen, Farnell, Martinez, Walker and Webb middle schools.
But a large, vocal group of parents in the Bay Crest area are dead set against it. Those parents would rather send their kids to Farnell than Webb, alleging that Webb has a gang problem.
Amber Mobley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 269-5311.