Parents voice concern at forum on Fayette schools redistricting

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comJune 26, 2014 

Fayette County Public Schools central offices at 701 East Main Street, Lexington

HERALD-LEADER

Background: The first public forum on redrawing Fayette County school attendance zones was held Thursday night.

Boundary changes will be implemented when two new elementary schools open in 2016 — on Georgetown Road and east of Interstate 75 — and a new high school opens in 2017 on Winchester Road. More than 25 committee members — school board members, business leaders, Equity Council members, parents, Realtors, home builders, principals and city planning officials — will draft a proposal that will likely go to the school board in early 2015 for approval.

What was discussed: People talked about their biggest fears and the things they hoped the committee would consider. Parents said they wanted the committee to know that they bought homes based on schools. Parents said they were afraid of losing property values if they were assigned to a school that has poor academic achievement.

Bryan Station High School teacher R.J. Johnson said schools should be diverse to "even the playing field" for academic achievement.

Questions parents asked:

■ How are you going to have schools that are socio-economically balanced and still have neighborhood schools?

■ Will parents' views really count?

■ Will children be allowed to finish their elementary career at a school where they've started?

■ Have Fayette officials studied other places to see how redistricting worked?

■ Will sending children to a school across town achieve socio-economic balance?

What's next: The next public forum is set for 6 to 8 p.m. July 10 at Lafayette High School, 401 Reed Lane.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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