Parents Speak Out About OKCPS Redistricting Plans

Tuesday, March 25th 2014, 11:37 pm
By: News 9

For the first time, parents from across the south side of Oklahoma City are voicing their concerns over the redistricting proposal for Oklahoma City schools.

It was a full house in the school's auditorium, a true display at how concerned hundreds of parents are about redistricting plans.

Parents didn't just voice their concerns. Some gave what they thought were better solutions to the overcrowding problem.

"We'd like for them to go back to the drawing board," Juanita Sykes, supporter and former teacher, said.

For Sykes, it's more than just busing south side students across town to relieve overcrowding.

"There's a cultural issue," said Sykes. "There's a language issue on top of everything else."

Parents say the overcrowding issue has been a problem for years, but the district's plan to alleviate it is falling on deaf ears.

3/24/2014 Related Story: Overcrowding In Okla. School Forces Teachers To Carry Classrooms On Carts

District officials believe changes to attendance boundaries and feeder patterns will balance student enrollment across the district.

"It's not as simple as some people might think," said Sykes. "There are just lots of factors."

Oklahoma City Public Schools Chief Information Officer George Kimball said the plan presented is only a temporary fix.

"Plan B would do nothing, and we have situations in these high schools and middle schools in the south where teachers are traveling the halls," Kimball said.

"It's obvious we're going to need to build classrooms, but that's got about a two year horizon on it," said Interim Superintendent David Lopez. "So, we need to do something in the short term."

The OKCPS Board of Education is expected to make a decision on the proposed attendance boundaries March 31.