In approving a redistricting plan for Fayette County Public Schools by a 3-2 vote Wednesday, school board members conceded to some vocal residents in south Lexington, but not to those in a low-income neighborhood who wanted to stay at a high-performing school.
School board members Doug Barnett and Amanda Ferguson voted against the redistricting plan, with Barnett saying he didn't think the board served low-achieving students with its decision.
Ferguson said she thought the board should have stuck to the proposal that a redistricting committee gave to the board after more than a year of work.
After deliberating for three hours, board members granted a request from Copperfield, Clemens Heights and Wyndham Downs residents to remain at Beaumont Middle School instead of being reassigned to Jessie Clark Middle School as the redistricting committee proposed.
In exchange, some other students who were going to be moved from Jessie Clark were kept there.
Board Vice Chairman Melissa Bacon had advocated for the residents who wanted to stay at Beaumont. She had said that under the proposal, students in the neighborhood would not go to high school with the same group of students with whom they go to middle school.
While the board granted that request, it did not approve a request from residents in the low-income Bainbridge neighborhood who wanted to remain at the high-performing Athens Chilesburg Elementary School.
"I'm here to change their mind on moving Bainbridge students from Athens to Breckinridge," said parent Brittany Fulz.
In the end, the Bainbridge students were moved to Breckinridge, which was already a higher-poverty school.
ACE staff members including Carla Jackson also asked the board to keep Bainbridge students at ACE.
Board chairman John Price said the board did not keep Bainbridge at ACE because of overcrowding at ACE and expected growth at the school.
Other residents spoke out at Wednesday's school board meeting, but the board did not change the proposed redistricting plan in their favor, either.
Despite residents' protests, the Seven Parks neighborhood was reassigned from Glendover Elementary to Picadome Elementary, as the redistricting committee had recommended.
Susan Hamblen did not get her request. She asked that the section of Robinwood in which she lives remain at Stonewall Elementary instead of being moved to Wellington.
Hamblen said the move made Wellington overcrowded.
"It makes no sense and does not increase any of the committee guidelines to increase diversity, keep schools under capacity or change transportation," she said.
Fayette County redrew attendance boundaries for the first time in more than a decade in anticipation of the opening of two new elementary schools in the fall of 2016 and a new high school in 2017.
Of almost 40,000 students in the district, 5,108 would be affected by the redistricting plan, school officials have said. Of those, 1,688 would be moving to the new schools.