Huntsville's school redistricting meetings continue - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Huntsville's school redistricting meetings continue

Dr. Casey Wardynski and other school leaders met with parents concerned over redistricting plans. Dr. Casey Wardynski and other school leaders met with parents concerned over redistricting plans.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Some South Huntsville parents are arguing against Huntsville City Schools' new plan for which students go to which schools, while the system itself is getting ready to argue for its plan in court.

The school system's series of public meetings continued Friday as leaders explain their plans for drawing new district lines. The system's negotiations with the US Justice Department over whether it's living up to a federal desegregation order from 1970 are over, and now it is planning to push ahead with its plans for the future.

Friday night, the school system invited families out to Grissom High School to talk about its plan for new school districts. As parents packed into Grissom to scrutinize the redistricting plan, some parents said they're concerned about Whitesburg P-8 being saddled with an unfair number of high-maintenance kids from lower-income families.

"No other in Southeast Huntsville is being impacted with the poverty rate that we are being impacted with," said parent Lisa Broach.

Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski fielded questions and said he is working towards a fair system.

The fairness of Huntsville's plan is about to end up in court, after marathon talks with federal officials who want to impose their own districting plan. School leaders here say that is not acceptable.

"It's not right for our kids," said Wardynski. "It leads to no consistency in education. It leads to inefficient use of brand-new buildings. They're going to leave some of our brand-new buildings partially empty. They're going to take kids where the high school is right next door and move them clear across town."

School system lawyer J.R. Brooks said the feds are not letting their plan be made public and haven't said whether they'll accept or fight Huntsville's plan, which the city school board is scheduled to vote on next Thursday. Wardynski said the plan will go before the board regardless.

If that plan is approved Thursday, Brooks said the school district will take it to federal court on Friday, ready to argue for it to the judge. By then, he said, it should be clear whether the feds will let the plan go ahead or still try to fight in court to replace it with their own plan.

The remaining meetings for parents to address their concerns with school leaders and hear more about the redistricting plan are as follows:

  • Feb. 1, 9:00 a.m. - Huntsville High School
  • Feb. 3, 5:00 p.m. - Johnson High School
  • Feb. 4, 5:00 p.m. - Butler High School
  • Feb. 5, 5:00 p.m. - Columbia High School

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