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Parents upset about Duval County Schools new boundary plan

Proposal affects 30 schools

Parents listen to a Duval County Public Schools new boundary change plan.
Parents listen to a Duval County Public Schools new boundary change plan.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local parents are upset about a new Duval County Public Schools boundary proposal change.

The school board held a meeting for parents to learn about the proposed changes Thursday at Ed White High School.

Ed White is one of 30 schools that would be affected by the boundary proposal changes. It would become a military magnet school under the new proposal. The students who currently live in the area zoned for Ed White would be split up. Most of them would end up going to Westside High School, but some would also attend William M. Raines High School and Jean Ribault High School.

Raines and Ribault would also get new students who currently attend Andrew Jackson High School. Jackson would become a magnet school.

While most of the proposed changes affect students living on the Northside, the Southside would also be affected. Samuel W. Wolfson High School would also become a magnet school. The area zoned for that school would be split up, with students going to either Atlantic Coast High School or Terry Parker High School.

The school board says the proposed changes would help solve overcrowding issues. Schools that are underutilized would get more students, while overcrowded schools would send students elsewhere.

One parent at the meeting was unconvinced.

Sarah Thigpenn has a daughter who is a senior at Ed White. Even though her daughter would graduate before the boundary changes were put in place, she said the school board doesn’t have the students’ best interests in mind. She pointed out that Ed White has a high exceptional student population that the boundary proposal doesn’t take into account.

“There's a large population of special needs kids here. Where are they going to go? Are they just going to throw them out with the bathwater? You don't do that,” Thigpenn said.

The school board will continue to hold meetings to discuss the boundary change proposal. A final vote is scheduled for June.

The entire proposal is available on the Duval County Public School’s website.