A Texas school district hosted its last public meeting recently before it votes on a controversial plan to close and re-purpose two schools at the end of the month.
Allen Independent School District held the meeting partially to talk about its rezoning of Anderson and Rountree elementary schools. This plan would ultimately affect more than 2,000 students in the city, some of whom would be moved to different schools in the district if the vote is successful.
Allen ISD hopes to help resolve the overcrowding problem in schools on the city’s west side. However, the reappropriation of the elementary schools on the east side does not include any plans to build additional schools in the west.
“It seems like at best this will be a Band-Aid on a problem that will continue to happen because most of the development is still occurring on the west side of Allen,” parent Holly Barnard suggested.
Some parents have argued that the plan will make the traffic in the city of Allen worse and would force the children to have to travel further to get to school.
“They told us upfront they were looking at the entire school district because there is overcrowding on the west side,” parent Michelle Boren told Fox 4 previously. “Yet here it is. They are taking away two schools on the east side. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Some students held signs outside of a board meeting in September urging the district not to close their respective schools.
“I told the board when we started that this will be a very emotional issue, and it’s difficult to solve an emotional issue with logic,” superintendent Robin Bullock said at a State of Allen panel discussion on Wednesday. “Even though we presented lots of information and numbers and all those things, we’re still trying to work through this process.”
“We haven’t seen the actual proposal, and they are not publishing the redistribution maps to show where our kids will be going,” Boren said. “This doesn’t just affect Anderson. It actually affects everyone.”
Boren said she bikes her kids to school every day.
“I can’t imagine any parent out there who wouldn’t fight for their school if AISD came in and said, ‘We are going to repurpose it and exclude you,’” she said.
The final vote will occur on November 28.