Knox Schools Unveils Proposed Re-Zoning

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Knoxville (WVLT) - After months of community meetings and controversy, the Knox County School Board unveils it's proposal for re-zoning to the new Hardin Valley High School.

About half the Karns district will be re-zoned and a large portion of students living in Farragut will head to Hardin Valley, while only a small percentage from Bearden is affected.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel has more.

I'm here near the intersection of George Williams and Fox Roads. It's on the little corner of one area that's proposed to be re-zoned from Bearden to Hardin Valley. Meanwhile, folks living just across the road will remain at Bearden High School. It's certainly not ideal, but Monday's proposal is the result of several meetings and lots of public input.

"It's just a total headache," parent Wendy Kennedy said.

The proposed plans are unveiled.

"Our primary objective is to alleviate overcrowding at our three area high schools, and I hope this plan will do that," school board chairwoman Karen Carson said.

While a handful of parents expressed support for the proposal... several dozen others poured into the school board meeting with a list of concerns:

"My kids are going to be bused somehow to Hardin Valley which is a significant distance from where we are to Bearden," parent Stephanie Parrott said.

"It's in a location that I think is tough to get to," Carson said.

From travel time and safety, to grandfathering to another re-zoning in just a few years. Another concern is separating communities. For example: In some neighborhoods, there will be one group of kids attending Farragut and those living across the street will go to Hardin Valley.

"That's a difficult thing when you have kids making friends in the neighborhood and the area," Parrott said.

And while most of the focus stays on the zoning borders, Wendy Kennedy and her family are focusing on how all this might effect them way up in the northern tip of the Bearden district.

"My daughter and my son would have to go to Karns and my oldest would have to stay at Bearden because he's a senior," Kennedy said.

Eleventh and twelfth graders will be grandfathered so they can stay at their current school. There will be open zoning for students interested in specific academic programs at Hardin Valley.

"There are significant issues for us parents out there beyond just drawing lines on a map," Parrott said.

Those issues can be addressed at two public forums before the board votes on the zone changes. The first is set for December 4th at Fulton High School auditorium. The next will be held at the City-County Building December 6th at five o'clock. This is the meeting where the board will vote on the re-zoning borders.