Seminole Co. students head back to school next week amid rezoning woes



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Seminole County students return to school next Monday, but not without a cloud of controversy now that a rezoning plan could force many of them to switch schools next year.

And not everyone is happy with the board's decision.

One teacher told WFTV the rezoning is a shock, and it's going to be hard on everyone.

The school board hopes having a year to come up with a plan and to hear from parents will help. But nobody expects this to be easy.

"Rezoning is always upsetting to families. There's no doubt about it," said Walt Griffin, the Seminole County school superintendent.

The school board and Seminole County parents can agree. The boards' decision Tuesday night to go forward with districtwide rezoning means elementary school students attending one school when schools reopen on Monday could be attending an entirely new school a year from now.

"We try to teach our kids to go to school, get good grades, get college scholarships, but then we want to disrupt their whole lives their reaction is going to be 'I don't care. Nobody cares about me so I don't care.' It's not right," said parent Kourtney Pearson.

And it could affect lots of schools. The problem is overcrowding in schools like Bentley and Crystal Lake and schools running well under capacity, like Layer.

But the district won't bus kids across the county. So kids from overcrowded schools would move nearby ones, which could set off a chain reaction of shifting, potentially leading to lots of kids adjusting to new schools.

"Rezoning frequently results in a domino effect. We're going to do everything we can to avoid moving students to schools across the district," said Griffin.

The superintendent said rezoning may mean avoiding closing some schools. And he emphasized that "all our schools are high quality," so no students will be shortchanged.