Houston BOE to vote on elementary school rezoning

alopez@macon.comFebruary 10, 2014 

PERRY -- On the eve of voting for Houston County elementary school rezoning and after weeks of discussion and a minor tweak, a few parents are still fighting proposed changes.

They used tears, arguments and a petition to plead their case to the Houston Board of Education on Monday.

Jennifer Peck represented Perry’s Huntington Grove neighborhood, where she collected three pages of signatures from residents resisting rezoning the neighborhood’s children from Matt Arthur Elementary School to the new Langston Road elementary.

Other parents represented children being rezoned from Kings Chapel to Tucker elementaries.

Erin Hackl, a Perry Primary mother and wife of an active duty military member, welled up with tears while addressing the board, not wanting her child rezoned to Morningside. Board of Education members listened attentively, but made no promises.

In all, more than 800 children in eight schools would be affected by elementary school rezoning.

The school board will discuss and vote on the proposals at Tuesday’s regular meeting at the board offices in Perry.

Board members Dave McMahan and Jim Maddox said they will bring up a minor change to the rezoning plan. They want the board to consider allowing about 18 children who live west of Elko Road and east of Interstate 75 to remain at Kings Chapel and not be moved to Tucker.

A reversal already has been granted for students in the Southern Trace neighborhood in Perry. Those children will remain zoned for Matt Arthur instead of moving to Kings Chapel.

McMahan also requested that the board study how many parents of fourth-grade students would be interested in keeping their children at their current schools. He suggested the board could vote to allow “grand­fathering” of those fourth-graders so they finish the fifth grade at the school they’ve grown accustomed to.

“We’re listening,” said board Chairwoman Marianne Melnick to one mother. “We wish we could make everybody happy.”

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

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