Battle to block Round Rock ISD rezoning continues with outraged parents

First of three public hearings tonight

FILE - Round Rock ISD bus (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Round Rock ISD bus (KXAN File Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The fight to prevent a middle school rezoning effort by Round Rock ISD continues tonight.

School leaders are hosting the first of three public hearings at Cedar Valley Middle school on Racine Trail. It is a chance for parents to speak out about the proposed changes that would relieve massive overcrowding at two Round Rock schools.

Parents said they want their children to stay at their original middle schools, a clear message to school board members. Last week, school leaders scaled down a plan to rezone 10 neighborhood schools to focusing on two schools.The district told parents that Walsh and Cedar Valley are severely overcrowded.

Under the plan, some students slated to go to Walsh and Cedar Valley will move to Chisholm Trail MS on Oakridge Drive. The district also has a new school set to open in the fall of 2017, and shuffling students will better populate it.

But, parents fear that rezoning more low-income students to Chisholm Trail would create a Title One school. Title One schools receive federal funding to improve test scores and boost grades.

“With the proposal they are going directly against what they have said that they desire which is demographic balance,” said Parent Heather Clark. “[They’re] creating an unbalance and a division in areas where there was previously none.”

Parents also believe that the new neighborhood school line will split their community, as some children will continue on to Walsh Middle and the others will go to Chisholm Trail.

“In splitting our neighborhood, they split our schools, which again goes against what they have stated are their intention and goals with the new boundaries,” Clark said.

KXAN reached out to school leaders with the parents’ concerns. District Spokesman Corey Ryan said the plans are still just a proposal.

In a written statement, he said this continues to be a discussion we’re having with the public as we move forward to a final recommendation.

“We want parents to know we are still working with our demographer and community to bring heart to a plan that will be in the best interest of all kids in Round Rock ISD,” said Ryan.

The public review of its first proposed plan ends on Oct. 13. It will include two more public hearings at 7:30 p.m. in the following school cafeterias:

  • Sept. 28 at Chisholm Trail
  • Sept. 29 at Walsh

The board will make their final decision on Nov. 17; if approved, the changes will not begin until next school year.

Gigi Barnett is live with the zoning changes and what it will mean for students. 

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