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Vote on new Pasco Schools rezoning plan delayed due to court battle

Posted at 5:14 AM, May 01, 2018

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Hundreds of Pasco County families were supposed to know where their kids will go to school next year following an expected vote by the school board Tuesday morning. However, the district delayed the decision because they are still facing a court battle from parents.

The new boundaries, effecting a handful of West Pasco schools, were already wiped out in court because of sunshine law violations.

But the district says they still must rezone to relive overcrowding at J.W. Mitchell High School and Seven Springs Middle School.

A judge will hear testimony from parents on the latest complaint May 17th.

On January 17, 2017, the School Board approved boundary adjustments for the southwest secondary schools in order to provide relief to the overcrowded Seven Springs Middle and J.W. Mitchell High schools. 

This rezoning was invalidated by the court in the middle of the 2016-2017 school year after many students moved to their newly assigned schools. 

RECOMMENDED: Judge: Pasco County Schools violated Sunshine Law, 2017 boundaries for students voided

Now, the school district is again recommending a similar, but not identical, rezoning to help address overcrowded conditions at Seven Springs Middle and J.W. Mitchell High Schools, according to school district documents.

The communities of Longleaf, Ellington, and Starkey Ranch are still proposed to be rezoned from Seven Spring Middle and J.W. Mitchell High Schools to River Ridge Middle/High School.

"Area 30" is still proposed to be rezoned from Anclote High School to Gulf High School. "Areas 1-4" are not being proposed to be moved out of River Ridge Middle/High School. 

It is anticipated that Wendell Krinn Technical High School will have some impact on the west side high schools including J.W. Mitchell High and River Ridge High Schools, school district documents stated.

However, there are two major changes. As a part of this proposal, the Superintendent recommends the grandfathering of rising seniors at their current schools. In addition, the Superintendent's recommendation with this rezoning is to not reset school choice for any of these schools that are impacted by boundary changes.

 The vote is expected to happen around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at school district headquarters.