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Letter to the editor
Redistricting students not only option
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Forsyth County News

As your paper has recently reported, the Forsyth County Board of Education is currently working on a redistricting plan. While many families across the county are breathing a sigh of relief because they are not on the chopping block with this particular redistricting plan, the reality is that we are all in the same situation. If you’re not going through redistricting now, you did two to four years ago or will in the next few years. Our newest high schools, West and Lambert, are already near or over capacity. Since our BOE is not willing to look at other options, more redistricting is bound to occur.

We are asking our BOE to create a long-term plan that will address our students’ needs and the lack of growth within our city limits and particularly Forsyth Central High Schools district. Reaching further and further beyond current district lines to populate a high school and pulling in four middle schools doesn’t help to foster a sense of community, nor does it solve the lack of growth within the Central school district. A high school district that reaches from Shady Grove Road on Exit 17 all the way to Bethelview at Exit 13 certainly isn’t a logical solution to this problem.

• If BOE student enrollment projections are correct within 1 percent, why were about 700-plus students moved out of Forsyth Central to populate West and Lambert? We all know that there is no growth within the city of Cumming, so why were so many students moved out of Central’s district?

• How can we meet the needs of all of our students? Why are we not willing to look at magnet programs as every other metro county has done?

• If we are not going to be able to build a new high school as originally promised with East High, what can we do long-term to address the lack of growth in some county areas and increased growth in others?

The only redistricting that must occur this year is to populate Kelly Mill Elementary. No high school or middle school redistricting must occur this year. As the BOE states on its 2012 Strategic Plan: Trust Among Stakeholders is Vital. We are the stakeholders, and we want to trust that you are looking at a wide variety of options for the education of our children. Redistricting isn’t the only solution.

 

Davey Bales

Cumming