Keep Our A-rated School District
Our area is at risk for school rezoning. Our children would be assigned to C-rated schools.
There are several aspects of these proposals that bother our neighbors.
There are few interactions with the community, little time to review the analysis or comment, and issues in the provided data.
The areas proposed for disruption are more economically and racially diverse than the majority of the Plant HS district, which is already one of the whitest and wealthiest schools.
Familes are being offered schools that are more poorly performing.
Better schools create neighborhood value. Downgrading schools erodes neighborhood value.
Students have been disrupted due to COVID. Now, they could be separated from their peers.
Many families chose this area because of the schools and will be forced to make further difficult decisions.
"When Florida rolled out its statewide grading system in 1999, the real estate market took note. According to research by David Figlio, who is now a professor of education, social policy and economics at Northwestern University, an A-rated school in Gainesville added about $10,000 to the value of a home there versus a B school."
"Once a school is graded, the gap often grows. Strong ratings lead to better community support, which in turn leads to better schools. Today, the difference between an A school and B school might easily be $50,000 on a $300,000 house, he says."
Census tract 47 is the neighborhoods of Westshore Palms and North Bon Air. The area is diverse and becoming more so.
|Population by Race/Ethnicity||2020||2010||Change|
|American Indian||4||0.2%||3||0.1%||33.3% ▲|
|Pacific Islander||6||0.2%||2||0.1%||200.0% ▲|
|Two or More||509||19.7%||92||4.1%||453.3% ▲|
|Ethnicity||Hispanic or Latino||848||32.8%||780||34.7%||8.7% ▲|
Scenarios 2 and 3 excise this area from Plant HS. Plant already has the highest percentage of White High School students (68.38%) in the entire district. Scenario 2 removes this area from Coleman MS, which is 69.41% White, also the highest in the district.
Picture: US Census % of White population with outline of Plant boundaries and affected area.
Our existing schools perform well. Unfortunately, the proposals are not substituting like-for-like.
|Grady ES||A||Mabry ES||A||Neutral|
|Mitchell ES||A||Grady ES||A||Neutral|
|Coleman MS||A||Pierce MS||C||Negative|
|Wilson MS||A||Coleman MS||A||Neutral|
|Plant HS||A||Jefferson HS||C||Negative|
Since many families have purposely moved into their current zoning, this appears to be an invitation to choose a private or charter school.
The school board has provided 30 days over the holidays (Dec. 13th - Jan. 13th) to provide feedback using their online tool.
The sessions that are scheduled are to "view proposed boundary scenarios and provide online feedback". There is not a session to answer questions or solicit public input.
Previously, the school board processed a proposal to re-zone the highest density areas of Beach Park away from the schools at capacity before the land was residentially developed. All three scenarios show it would be pulled back into the previous zoning.
A city park with zero students is rezoned to a different school in one scenario.
The screenshot provided shows flawed numbers for Mabry ES.
Correct existing utilization is 101%, per the 40th Day Enrollment Numbers
... or lack therof
Addison Davis: (...) SO WE SEE THAT WE HAVE GRADY, COLEMAN AND PLANT, ALL AT CAPACITY RELATED TO STUDENTS. SO IF THEY BUILD CONDOS WITHIN THE WESTSHORE AREA, WHAT WE WILL DO IS IDENTIFY NOW THOSE AREAS BEFORE WE HAVE ANY STUDENTS LIVING IN THEM THAT WILL BE ABLE TO TRANSITION TO TAMPA BAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PIERCE MIDDLE SCHOOL AND TRANSITION TO JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL. SO THIS IS JUST US BEING IN FRONT OF THE ACTUAL BUILD OF CONDOS. WE HEAR THAT'S GOING TO TAKE PLACE AND ALLEVIATES ALL THE PRESSURE IN THOSE SITES.
Christopher Farkas: THAT'S CORRECT. WE HAVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK OF PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN THE PLANT BOUNDARY TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT NEGATIVELY IMPACTED GOING FORWARD.
Unfortunately, just under one year later and those in the Plant boundary may be negatively affected. If this is the result, shouldn't every neighborhood that likes their schools go NIMBY?
Any proposed development (at the subdivision and/or site plan stage) must be evaluated to determine if the three school levels (elementary, middle and high) have adequate capacity to serve the new development. (...) if capacity is not available (...) Florida statute states that the “impact of the new development must be shifted to the contiguous service area.”
Per HCPS' data, these schools have been at or over utilization for the past 3 years, so which new developments have moved in line with the above?
Why is poor planning creating an emergency in our neighborhoods?
You want your voice heard, here's how to do it.
Understand the issues so you can provide informed feedback.
Before Jan 13th, put your comments and concerns in the tool. Use the comment button and click on your area of concern. This site works best on a PC; it is not very phone friendly.
Not everyone is going to attend a meeting. This at least provides some measure of how many neighbors are paying attention.
Familes are discussing their concerns, organizing neighbors, and getting informed. You can too.
For this area the meeting is at Plant High School on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023 at 5:30 PM.
Message your concerns directly to the board.