New Lines May Be In The Works

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Wednesday, December 20th the Rockford School Board is holding a special meeting to discuss proposed attendance zones. But some still say that no matter which way the lines go the Rockford School District may be heading back to court. At a special board meeting, it's possible that the board will see a whole new layout. Since the maps came out many question the discrepancies between schools. Some might see enrollment and the number of low income students drop but it's a different scenario at another school. For board member Mike Williams the plan is unacceptable. Williams states, "Let's make schools equitable and then we can start talking about whether we need to zone schools in order to save money."

The district is stressing the fact that zoned schools provide predictability, fewer buses, shorter rides, and a way to unite the community. The plan is set to come before the board on January 9th but at last weeks public forum the community stressed to the board the need to slow down. Williams tells 23 News, "I don't think they'll be a delay in the vote and the quicker it's taken the quicker it goes to court."

And when the People Who Care Lawsuit was filed back in 1989 Flossie Hoarde was a plaintiff. She says she's been watching and learning about zoned schools. At this time, she says the district needs more solutions to deal with the many socioeconomic gaps. But instead she's seeing similar events like intentional segregation and discrimination. Those are two items that led the district to court. Hoarde says, “The lawsuit was really a cosmetic remedy. It only covered the surface of the problem and it never dealt with the infection of the problem. Until we deal with the infection we will never have a cure and that's what I'm hoping will take place."

December 20th is the last day for anyone to fill out an attendance zone comment sheet. Comments will be reviewed by the board. After that time it’s best to contact any school board member to make your point.