Proposed Rezoning For Knox County High Schools

Knoxville (WVLT) - This week, Knox County parents will receive a flier outlining the superintendent's proposal for re-zoning ten of the twelve county high schools.

It's happening as a result of a study done last year that looked at each school's occupancy, capacity and growth. As you might expect, it's upset some parents.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel explains how that study is helping shape the future of Knox County schools.

Throughout the county, but the geographical and zoning issues needed some extra attention, and in the long run, making these changes should leave more money in the capital budget for upgrading facilities instead of building new ones.

"If you never take a step back and look at your zones system-wide, then schools like Northwest Middle that have nine schools feed into it and then those kids go out to five different high schools, that's not healthy for a community," school board chair Karen Carson said.

And, so in an attempt to better the community and the entire Knox County School System, the superintendent is proposing a re-write:

"That requires some shifting of students, but it doesn't make it any easier on parents and kids," Carson said.

But re-drawing the zone lines means re-structuring some people's lives.

"We bought our property so that our kids will go to Farragut Schools," parent Sharon Martens said.

A study of each of the county's facilities found that the board should look at zoning prior to building new schools.

"Deal with whatever overcrowding can be dealt with through zoning first, and then we can know if we need to build a new school in an area, shift, whatever we need to do," Carson said.

And doing that isn't always easy.

"It's very hard when you move intentionally into a community with your goal set on a High School, and then that zone changes, but you know, there's never a promise that a school zone won't be changed and the board is forced to look at what's best for the whole county," Carson said.

And sometimes what's best for the whole will upset a few.

"When they hear they're going to be rezoned, are going to be upset, whether they grew up in that community or they bought the property so they could go to those schools," Martens said.

The school board is starting with the high school level because they need to set the Hardin Valley High School zone. Once the fliers are sent to the post office, the school board will post the proposal on their website.


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