Parent committee formed to rethink rezoning proposal
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Rethink, not rezone - a plea parents painted on cars and printed on stickers Tuesday in hopes of halting plans to rezone hundreds of East Hamilton students.
"Rezoning should be a last ditch effort, it shouldn't be the first," said Ryan Ledford, one of the more vocal parents against rezoning plans.
Brothers, Charles and Christopher Sanders, worry about leaving friends.
"I want to stay where I am, I like it there, it's a great school," said Charles, a freshman at East Hamilton High, "it's just a big difference, a big change."
Parents worry about the quality of education and property values.
Some claim students are contributing to the overcrowding problem by attending East Hamilton School, but living in other districts.
"I'm very confident that the staffs at the school are doing what they are supposed to do," said School Board members, Linda Mosley, "but that doesn't mean someone might move into an apartment or a house one month, then move out, and not follow up with the correct documentation."
At Tuesday night's work session Mosley urged parents to provide names, so school officials can investigate.
But board members say the problem is bigger than illegal students. It's a countywide issue.
"We represent our districts and I'm here to represent mine," Rhonda Thurman told the crowd, while pointing out the overcrowding in her district that is not addressed in the proposal, "I'm not going to sit back and act like the kids in district one are second class citizens."
Board Member George Ricks says it might be time to look at rezoning across the county.
To help revise Superintendent Rick Smith's proposal, Mike Evatt proposed creating a parent committee to rethink the process.
"I'm elated, I feel like I'm part of the process," said Ledford, who was appointed to head up the parent committee, "hopefully we can work through this and our ideas will be heard and applied."
The parent committee will be made of up seven parents, one from each community being rezoned.
The committee with meet with school officials to offer their ideas.
Superintendent Rick Smith says he hopes to have a revised plan for board members to vote on in the next two weeks.