Rezoning: School Board Defends Plan

Knoxville (WVLT) - Knox County moms, dads and most school board members don't like what they are seeing Wednesday night as they get their first look at the superintendent's school rezoning plan.

Board members fear families and communities could be torn apart by rezoning designed to relieve overcrowding, at three West Knox County High Schools...their concerns include whether the superintendent's plan achieves that goal.

"Does this proposal do enough to relieve overcrowding at Farragut enough to...No!" Indya Kincannon says.

Board members representing all nine school districts took their turn suggesting changes. One questions whether the resistance by parents to enroll their children at the new Hardin Valley High is caused by a lack of information.

"Will it have everything that every other high school in Knox County has? The same curriculum, the same athletics?" Cindy Buttry says.

Others are concerned rezoned students may not learn at their current rate.

"There's concerns by some parents about the quality of instruction between Bearden and West, and specifically the comparability of curriculum with respect to honors and AP courses," Dan Murphy says.

The proposal calls for exchanging students between Powell and Central High Schools.

"It appears that our capacity's are about the same," Rex Stooksbury says.

And the emotional hot button issue...neighborhoods would be divided.

"It's consistent with what we've done other places, we've not divided subdivisions down the middle," Sam Anderson says.

At least three board members say they want the "grandfather" provision to extend further than the rezoning plan calls for.

"I think it is very, very difficult for people to move schools, I think it is even more difficult to have kids in two different high schools," Karen Carson says.

One of the primary reasons given for comprehensive rezoning is school officials want to quote, "stop chasing population shifts with new construction."

The rezoning plan would be put in place over a four year period at 10 of the schools, and would become effective within three years at Hardin Valley High School.

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