Parents, School Board Members Criticize New Zoning Lines

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Parents, School Board Members Criticize New Zoning Lines

CREATED May 28, 2014
by Todd Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Parents and Metro School Board members are criticizing a plan to rezone several schools in the Hillsboro area. They say it would hurt economic and racial diversity.

Many of the schools in the so-called Hillsboro Cluster are over capacity and it's only going to get worse in the coming years.

A new Waverly-Belmont Elementary School is planned to be built next year and that means re-drawing the zoning lines.

Tuesday night, Metro Nashville Public Schools laid out its updated recommended boundary changes.

Despite the updates parents and board members were not impressed.

The district has a diversity policy for its schools but some parents and board members think this plan misses the mark decreasing racial and economic diversity in the Hillsboro Cluster schools.

They'd like to see the plan tweaked again.

"It's not going to be an easy task, no one thinks it will be," said Eakin Elementary parent Elizabeth Frein. "I think they need to get creative and that we aim to educate all of our students equally and fairly."

School board member Jill Speering was also a critic of the plan.

"We believe that our children that are disadvantaged will perform and have better opportunities when they're with children who are higher performing or have higher socio economics," she said. "We believe that. And if we believe that we must do a better job than these numbers."

Dr. Jesse Register and the team that drew up the boundaries say it is hard to create diversity in areas which are not inherently diverse.

The school board is set to vote on this rezoning plan on June 10th.

For a detailed look at the proposed zoning changes and how it would affect diversity numbers, click here. http://www.mnps.org/Page117835.aspx.

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