TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — While the deadline for submitting online feedback has passed, several students, parents, and teachers took their concerns about the proposed rezoning directly to the Hillsborough School Board members at their meeting on Tuesday.
Their decision could affect home values across Hillsborough County and force thousands of students in Tampa Bay’s biggest school district to change schools.
“This is a very difficult decision to make and one thing I’ve learned is this community really cares about education,” Superintendent Addison Davis told News Channel 8. “They’re involved and we appreciate them being in the forefront providing feedback, comments in order for us to get this right.”
Superintendent Davis said the district must address schools that are overcrowded and underutilized. Seven schools could close and be fully repurposed.
Families from Town ‘N Country are urging the board members to reject scenario three which would shut down Morgan Woods Elementary School.
“After everything these teachers and staff and children have been through the past through years, this is an incredible school and amazing family and we beg you please do not break up this happy family,” one mom told the school board.
Natalia Rohrbacker is a parent and literacy coach at Morgan Woods.
“Our school does a wonderful job embracing our students of different backgrounds and diversity,” Rohrbacker said.
With a vote expected in less than a month, Dr. Jennifer Collins came before the board to advocate for letting sophomores like her son graduate from their current high schools.
“If they were to have to change schools now, they could not start a new certificate program and complete it in time,” she said, adding her son is in the middle of his Sports Marketing certificate program at Steinbrenner High School.
“Will you recommend that rising juniors be grandfathered in?” News Channel 8 asked Superintendent Davis.
“As of right now my recommendation will be to protect rising juniors and seniors for next year, absolutely,” Davis said.