‘It’s rushed’: ACPS members seek parent input on possible rezoning plan for schools

The school board meets on April 6 to revisit rezoning proposals.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:06 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Overcrowding in some Alachua County schools may cause possible spot zoning changes in the 2023-2024 school year. Alachua County School board members heard from parents in the community input session at Terwilliger Elementary.

The schools that may face rezoning for the upcoming school year are Hidden Oak, Chiles, and Meadow Brook Elementary, which are overcapacity. This means some of these students from those schools, could be transferred to Terwilliger which has space available at a 64% capacity.

RELATED: Overcrowding in Alachua County elementary schools leads to possible rezoning

“I understand that we definitely need to help with the rezoning,” shared Meadow Brook parent Bethany Immonen. “A lot of our schools have too many students in them. My biggest issue was the timing of the announcement.”

In Tuesday’s Alachua County School Board meeting, member Kay Abbitt requested to stop the spot rezoning in favor of considering a more comprehensive approach. Superintendent Shane Andrew agreed and recommended that they revisit the motion.

“That makes me feel really good,’ expressed Immonen. “I actually think if they could work on a whole comprehensive rezoning, give us the information hopefully by December-January, that would be perfect.”

Many parents described the plan as rushed. The session also brought Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, who asked that schools in his region be considered for rezoning as Newberry Elementary School is at a 141% capacity.

“It makes me feel great that our mayor came out here to advocate for us,” shared Newberry Elementary parent Dawn Dillon. “I knew the percentage beforehand but just hearing it at 141%, it’s ridiculous.”

Some residents made clear they want the zoning but for the 2024-2025 school year, with timely notice.

“If they move forward with the spot rezoning, I would urge them to please consider including Newberry in it,” shared Dillon. “My 10-year-old has to attend middle school because there’s just not enough room.”

The school board meets on April 6 to revisit rezoning proposals.

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