Pasco county school leaders ask realtors for help with rezoning outrage

Parents demanding district delay rezoning effort
Posted at 7:04 PM, Nov 15, 2016

Leaders from Pasco County Schools are grappling with how to fix a major overcrowding problem. 

Many parents are passionately demanding that plans to redraw school boundaries are delayed.  

ABC Action News has learned, district officials have reached out to real estate agents for help. 

"With the growth in Florida, you just can't promise that a school is going to go with a house forever," said district spokesperson Lina Cobbe. 

The school board sent a letter to real estate companies and agents urging them to notify potential homebuyers that specific schools can not be guaranteed with a house's listed address. The letter states in part, "It is unfair to allow families to believe that the homes they are buying come with certain schools when the county's growth is at its current rapid pace." 

Real estate agents are now adjusting their sales pitch. 

"Some of our schools are top-rated, "A" schools and that was a selling point," said Debbie Dawson with RE/MAX CHAMPIONS. "Now, we kind of have to sit back because we don't know what certain areas are going to be re-zoned."

Christine Stahl and her family relocated to Pasco County five years ago from Georgia. With J.W. Mitchell High School only a couple miles away, she says that proximity to a good school was the most important factor as to where they chose to live.

"Schools were a big, big issue for my family," said Stahl. "I think there's very few people, parents especially, that will go and find a home and not pay attention to the area they're living in." 

The district says permits to build new houses indicate they could see an influx of 12,000 new students to its schools along S.R. 54. 

A re-zoning committee plans to meet Thursday morning to narrow down five potential plans for redistricting to one final option.