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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Alachua County School Board halts rezoning, will rezone in 2024-25 school year

Board will still meet Thursday to plan

After two months of discussing a spot rezone, the Alachua County School Board voted Tuesday to halt that plan entirely. Instead, the board will comprehensively rezone the district in the 2024-2025 school year.

The members voted 3-2, with School Board Chair Tina Certain and Vice Chair Leanetta McNealy dissenting. 

The board previously voted Feb. 7 to proceed with the spot rezone, which would have moved students from Chiles, Hidden Oak and Meadowbrook elementary schools to boost enrollment in the underpopulated Terwilliger Elementary.

Despite being an original proponent of the spot rezone, member Sarah Rockwell voted against it Tuesday after receiving input from Terwilliger faculty.

“Their concern is the timing and that the schools that are being included in the proposed spot rezoning are not ones that are tremendously more accessible by bus,” she said. 

Rockwell voted against spot rezoning because students might’ve had to switch schools twice, she added. 

If the board had approved the spot rezone, a comprehensive rezoning would’ve still happened next year. Though the district previously affirmed no students would be impacted by the rezoning twice, Suzanne Wynn, director of community planning, concurrency and major construction in ACPS, said otherwise Tuesday.

“That is a potential because of the particular school zones that are being considered in the spot rezoning,” she said. “It doesn’t include Wiles, Archer or Newberry, in particular.”

McNealy, who recognized this, stayed strong in her vote to continue the spot rezone.

“No one wants to move a child twice — I’m not that disrespectful,” she said. “But I can tell you this, it could very well happen if you do spot or comprehensive.”

There will still be a workshop Thursday at 1 p.m. for rezoning, despite Tuesday’s vote. 

“Buckle up, Alachua County,” Certain said. “Buckle up.”

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Lauren Brensel

Lauren Brensel is a journalism sophomore and a metro reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she's found going on mental health walks, being silly with friends, hiding from the public and reminding those around her that they did this song on Glee.

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