Some parents unhappy with elementary school rezoning in Perry

alopez@macon.comJanuary 21, 2014 

Houston County school Superintendent Robin Hines explains rezoning goals Tuesday night to parents and community members at Perry High School.


PERRY -- Some parents are not happy with proposed changes to attendance zones at Houston County elementary schools.

They met with school board officials Tuesday at Perry High School to discuss proposed new zones for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Change is difficult, but it’s necessary,” said Superintendent Robin Hines.

More than 130 parents and community members took part in the meeting Tuesday evening, and at least 20 stepped up to a microphone to voice their opinions. Most of them are resisting the changes, which affect Matt Arthur, Kings Chapel, Morningside, Perry Primary and Tucker elementary schools.

“I think it was great. We had a good number of parents that came out, and they had a lot of valid concerns,” said Cindy Flesher, assistant superintendent for school operations.

“Anytime you go through a rezoning process, it’s a difficult task,” she said.

A central goal of rezoning, along with populating the new Langston Road Elementary, is to bring down the population of Matt Arthur Elementary, Hines said. Under rezoning, some current Matt Arthur Elementary students will go to Langston Road while others will go to Kings Chapel.

More than a dozen parents showed up to represent the Southern Trace subdivision in Kathleen.

The rezoning would send children in that neighborhood from Matt Arthur to Kings Chapel.

Stacy McLemore, a parent who lives in Southern Trace, said Kings Chapel is seven miles away from his house. He would have to pass Matt Arthur Elementary on his way to drop off his child at Kings Chapel.

“That’s just crazy,” McLemore said, adding that he would like his child to stay at the Matt Arthur school.

Several parents in the Huntington Grove subdivision said they also would like to stay zoned for Matt Arthur and not send their youngsters to Langston Road.

Tina Orr, who lives in Huntington Grove, said Langston Road is six miles away. She doesn’t understand why her first-grader would have to move from Matt Arthur, which is just three miles from their home.

Several parents, including some in military families, asked the board to consider an exception to allow fourth-graders to finish out their fifth-grade year at the school they have grown accustomed to.

Hines said the board will take the suggestion into consideration.

The school board will consider changes to the map of proposed attendance zones and vote on a final map at a Feb. 11 board meeting.

“We cannot make everybody happy,” Hines said. “Wherever there is a line drawn, there is going to be somebody on the other side of it, and I understand that. But there is a lot that goes into this process of knowing where the children are and where we can get the kids so we can appropriately populate those schools while still allowing room for growth as we move forward.”

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 744-4382.

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