TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County School District could be facing a major shakeup that would force thousands of students to change schools.
Hillsborough Schools revealed three potential boundary changes for parents to weigh in on.
The district hired architecture and design firm WXY Studio to review its school attendance boundaries and come up with a plan. Under their plan, several schools would be fully or partially repurposed and converted into or share space with adult education centers, preschools, or district offices.
Depending on the plan, anywhere from 11,000 to 24,000 students would have to change schools.
Superintendent Addison Davis says it’s something the district has never done, but it’s needed, with some schools being overcrowded and others not full enough. Davis said 24% of schools are overcrowded while 44% are under-enrolled.
“This is the most aggressive plan that’s been put in front of a school board in maybe ever. I mean, this is looking at transitioning potentially 24,000 students, and we don’t say that in a bragging manner. This is a very serious initiative,” Davis said.
One concerned parent News Channel 8 spoke with said her daughter will be forced to move schools under all three proposals. Her daughter attends Madison Middle School.
“She will be moved regardless. If they make any changes she, along with almost 300 other students will be removed from Madison,” the parent said she plans to fight the plans because the other available schools don’t offer the same educational options. “She wants to be an engineer and right now the STEM program at Madison is preparing her very well for that. She’s already using the CAD program and she’s designing things on the computer and other middle schools don’t necessarily have that option.”
Davis said all three plans are projected to save the district millions of dollars annually.
The district is holding 10 meetings throughout January for parents to get information and provide feedback.
The district has also set up an interactive website for parents to explore potential boundary changes and submit feedback.
Information on the boundary analysis can be found here.