Rezoning: Who Goes? Who Stays?

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd

Knoxville (WVLT) - A lot depends on how you define grandfathering. Is it by grade level or bloodline? And would it ease everybody's concerns? Or simply silence what some parents say are some legitimate beefs a big picture plan they see as too near-sighted.

"We're not a group of twelve people like some people around the county believe. Almost every child was represented at that meeting," Pam Treacy admits that she, and many parents at a community meeting this weekend--could have children moved out of Farragut's High School district and when Hardin Valley opens Fall, next year but, "You can't focus on this as a school board member just thinking about individual kids--you have to look at the big picture, what makes sense long term."

Short term, students would be grandfathered. Every ninth grader this year, allowed to finish at his/her current high school.

So could every current eighth grader, except those rezoned into Hardin Valley.

"We need to get a viable student population in Hardin Valley from the beginning, so that we can make sure we have proper course offerings available for those students," says Knox Schools spokesman Russ Oaks.

"Are we really saying Hardin Valley is only gonna grow 100 students in 10 years. Is that even realistic?" says Treacy.

Treacy maintains the Knox County's base its growth guesstimates on past patterns, failing to factor in how many will rush to build in, or move into, Hardin Valley districts. "This school will be filled by people from its own community."

"The growth projections do not show this becoming an issue over the next 8 or ten years," Oaks says.

Some County Commissioners may feel caught in the middle.

"People move into an area, they want to go to school in that area, they want to go to church in that area--they ought to have a say so," says Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith.

Still, "I trust our school Board and the people who run our school board and what decisions they come up with," Commissioner Smith says.

"What I think should have been done, was get all these people together around the county, including the county commissioner, lets look at this map--and divide up the true Communities that reflect the nature of Knox County." says Treacy.

Board members are holding forums in their districts.

But some parents say they're too formatted, likely to yield little a gripe session about whose kids will be pulled away from their friends.

Besides, they say, the timing's too tight. The board votes on a re-zoning proposal in two weeks.


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