1. Pasco

Parents will have 'ample time' to talk about school rezoning, Pasco superintendent says

There's a banner that's appeared lately in some west Pasco County communities expressing growing parental angst with their children's school assignments next fall.

"Do you know where your kids are going to school next year?" the sign reads. "Probably not."

They're worried about how an anticipated revision of attendance boundaries will affect their neighborhoods. Many have started speculating which communities will go where, as the district tries to balance enrollment at area middle and high schools, some of which are crowded while others are below capacity.

A few have expressed outrage that they'll be removed from their preferred school, Mitchell High, while families moving into homes still under construction will get to attend there. Mitchell is in one of Pasco's high growth areas, and has about 500 more students in attendance than it's built to hold.

"They're jumping the gun before we've even started the process," superintendent Kurt Browning said Thursday. "Everything I've read in emails has never been said by this district."

District planners and other key staff have scheduled their first meeting on the rezoning for Friday, if the weather doesn't interfere. That will be the first stop in a months-long effort that will end with a vote of the School Board, most likely in February.

Some parents and other community members will serve on a committee charged with looking at several possibilities for changing the attendance zones. Their meetings will be open to the public, with the documents posted on the district's website.

"We have a process that includes getting feedback from parents," Browning said. "They'll have ample, ample time to have input, share their opinions and get factual information."