TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After months of tireless back and forth between parents, students and the Hillsborough County Public Schools board, the district may be nearing a final decision on rezoning.
“Our concern is that they are going to use our communities as sacrificial lambs,” said Hillsborough County parent Gerald Boyle. “You know, ‘These two communities should go to Jefferson and Pierce, respectively.'”
Boyle’s kids are set to go to highly-rated Plant High School and Coleman Middle School right now — and he’d like to keep it that way.
After initially proposing three different scenarios to fix the various issues the district has, Superintendent Addison Davis revealed Scenario Four.
The school board is hosting a workshop on Monday at 10 a.m. at the district’s Instructional Service Center in East Tampa. Although there isn’t public comment at that workshop, there will be five community meetings a week later where families can learn more.
“There is over-utilization and there’s under-utilization, right?” Boyle asked. “Throughout the school district, especially in south county. Some changes are going to need to be made.”
Superintendent Davis says Scenario Four will save the district almost $13 million, but will make about 15,000 students switch schools.
“We’re moving students and somewhat creating an internal disruption for families,” Davis explained. “But we want our families to know, no matter what schools they go to, Hillsborough County will work diligently to create the best educational experience possible.”
But Scenario Four doesn’t impact Boyle’s kids — he’s happy about that.
“Maybe that compromise is Scenario Four,” Boyle said. “Where some people are going to be impacted, but it’s not as devastating or as massive a change as we saw in Scenarios Two and Three.”
The superintendent said the new proposal will even out student populations and reduce transportation costs.
“The very overutilized schools, which are at 110% or above capacity,” Davis said. “And the very underutilized schools, which are 59 percent and below.”
Boyle said many parents in his neighborhood that can’t afford private school will put their kids in virtual school or try choice schools instead.
You can learn more about Scenario Four and the schedule from HCPS here.