Westerville City Schools officials say capacity issues are prompting a change in elementary school boundaries..
Dozens of Westerville parents came out to see the options for realigning the boundaries for the district’s 12 elementary schools.
Some parents said they did not like what they saw.
“So, we’re really concerned about having haves and have not schools and not spreading that out,” said parent Jon Walden.
Julie Hedrick, a parent of two who lives on the south side of Westerville, said she would be negatively affected if the district goes with any of the three current options on the table.
“When you look at the proposals, the numbers don’t line up, said the mother, whose children do not attend any of the schools right now. “It’s almost like the current proposals create a dividing line in our community between the north versus the south, and to use a term that typically has bad connotations, it’s segregation.”
Hedrick said she is concerned the district is trying to segregate the elementary schools, assigning the poor and non-white students to the southern part of the city.
Under the proposal, those schools would continue to have higher numbers of minority students and a higher number of students on the free and reduced lunch program.
Committee members met to discuss parent feedback and said they understand the concerns.
“We have competing factors balancing demographics and same neighborhood schools, so how we are going to do that is a very complicated process,” said Vaughn Bell, a member of the committee in charge of the redistricting proposals.
Committee members said that based on the initial feedback they received on Thursday, they will be adding at least two additional options that they then will present at a board of education meeting on Feb. 25.
The next community open house for the district is set for Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Alcott Elementary. Members of the public are welcome to comment on the proposals.
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