Hundreds of students in Pasco County are going to have to change schools.
- Four hour meeting Thursday full of emotion
- Fewer students at Seven Springs Middle, Mitchell High
- Final vote will be in January
- Modified version of this map approved
The debate over changing school boundaries has been going on for a couple of months, but finally a proposed boundary was voted on by a committee.
During Thursday's final committee meeting, voting on and voting out boundary maps happened frequently.
It was an emotional morning that even brought some parents to tears. But after months of debating and four hours Thursday, there is some kind of conclusion.
To put it simply, it will reduce the number of students at Seven Springs Middle and Mitchell High School by a few hundred students. They'll still be over capacity, but the districts say it will be more manageable.
In turn, it will add students to the surrounding schools.
Students like Jeannie Dunning's children will still be moving.
"It is 2.0 miles exactly to our school that they just kicked us out of," said Dunning. "It is 8.7 miles to the new school they just sent us to. There's going to be neighborhoods that they kept today driving past us."
Heather Goldstein said the boundary divides up her community of 15 years and her son from his friends.
"Now they won't be doing their after school activities together, they won't be able to ride their bikes to each other’s houses because the hours are different from the other schools," Goldstein said. "It's just a mess. It's really sad that the kids are suffering."
"It is 2.0 miles exactly to our school that they just kicked us out of. It is 8.7 miles to the new school they just sent us to." - Parent Jeannie Dunning
Even parents whose kids didn’t get moved still felt unnerved.
"Do I feel safe today walking out of here? No, I'm still shaking," said Karen Thiene. "It's ultimately, you know, (Superintendent) Kurt Browning and the school board's decision and it's out of my hands."
The new boundary will go to the superintendent. After that, there will be two public hearings.
It will be voted on Jan. 17. However, parents are still urging for a delay.