Some Pasco County residents got the news they were dreading involving school rezoning.
“It’s very devastating. It’s devastating for this community to see that these people decided to rip us apart,” said Longleaf resident Heather Goldstein.
After weeks of staring at maps and enrollment numbers a committee made up of principals and parents finally voted Thursday.
And made the changes to school boundaries.
“It’s just a mess. It’s really sad that the kids are suffering from a bias of certain principals that are on the committee that speak louder. That complain louder,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein’s Longleaf neighborhood is one of a few slated to move to the River Ridge school zone.
Instead of going to schools about two miles away, they are being moved to schools more than 7 miles away.
“They are essentially tearing apart a community that we have been there 15 years. And they are tearing apart friendships that have been built since pre-school,” she said.
The school district said it has to be done to help overcrowding at the schools in Trinity, Seven Springs Middle School and Mitchell High School.
“We don’t like having to do it. But it’s a reality so we can keep our schools balanced,” said Pasco school district spokesperson Linda Cobbe.
Many parents had hoped for a delay.
“The one question that we’ve asked, has not been answered is. What is the rush,” asked parent Leigh Lane.
There was talk of moving the Deer Park subdivision to the Gulf High School zone. But they are staying put.
Great news for Kathy Spenard and her teenage daughter.
“Her two older sisters graduated River Ridge and that’s what she wanted to do,” said Spenard.
While new schools are obviously needed in West Pasco county, the district said they don’t have the money.
They do plan on asking the county commission to double impact fees, but say that still won’t be enough to keep up with the growth.
The school board will have the first public meeting on the new map December 20th.
They are expected to vote on it January 17th.
The West Side Boundary Committee selected Option 4A-2 in a slim 13-12 vote over map 5-2.
Superintendent Kurt Browning will now decide what to recommend to the school board.