Mr. Simmons said there are a lot of issues that that have spilled over from the magnet school realm into the redistricting process, however, this is not the current time to address those issues. He said the redistricting plan needed to address the goal of reducing overcrowding and fill some empty seats in some schools, while disrupting as few students as possible. Mr. Simmons said he could support Dr. Dearing's plan exactly the way it is, as a good opportunity for all students.
Board Members discussed the Superintendent's proposal at length, and the issue of grandfathering in students.
Superintendent Dearing recommended his hybrid of Plan B for redistricting, as well as grandfathering next year's eight-graders and their siblings (who participate in the Choice process) with parents providing transportation for those students. He said a two-year grandfathering process creates false numbers on how many teachers are needed for what year and growth projections. Transportation for children who have to cross over U.S. 41 to attend Harllee would be provided.
Mr. Brunner moved, with a second by Mrs. Harvey, to adopt the middle school redistricting plan named Committee B Super; that there would be a provision for transportation for children that would be affected with the Harllee-Lee Middle School boundary over the major highway U.S. 41, and that the plan would include grandfathering of existing 6th and 7th grade students to remain at their current school without transportation provided.
Mr. Kinnan offered the following friendly amendment: With grandfathering allowed for all rising 7th and 8th graders for the 2004-2005 school year - and siblings, if they fill out the appropriate applications - and all provide their own transportation.
Mrs. Harvey said there would not need to be a sibling provision if the motion includes 7th and 8th grade students.
Mr. Miller said that grandfathering siblings can create a burden on the cost of the decision.
Mr. Brunner pointed out that the current Choice policy already makes provision for siblings. He noted that his motion would not change that that provision, but for this particular instance would grandfather in the two grades, and then let the rest of the Choice policy kick in when the time comes if parents want to exercise School Choice for siblings.