Two weeks before vote, Pasco parents make final push against rezoning

More than a thousand students could be zoned to a new school if a proposed rezoning plan is approved, so parents voiced their concerns to the Pasco County School Board at a public hearing Tuesday.

For many parents, their child’s school is a home away from home.

“My son’s a freshman at Wiregrass Ranch High School and Wiregrass has just been a part of our family. Both of his older sisters graduated from Wiregrass. It’s more than just a school, it’s a feeling of family,” said parent Cheryl Schulze.

But that may be uprooted if the Pasco County School board votes to approve a proposed rezoning. During the district’s public hearing, school administrators explained how the construction of new Cypress Creek middle and high schools impacts over a thousand students.

“I can assure you that without a shadow of a doubt that this board and this superintendent would rather do anything else we could to accommodate growth other than a rezoning,” said Allen Altman, a school board member for District 1.

Academic program options, distance, and friendships surfaced among the concerns.

“This is a personal thing for our family, for my son. This is not just a number on a sheet,” said parent Mike Schulze.

Other parents said they don’t want their teen’s year disrupted as they look toward college.

While seniors would be grandfathered into the proposed transition and juniors would choose if they want to stay, many parents said they want their 9th and 10th graders to have a choice too.

“[We] don’t want to break that up for him. We want to be able to keep the continuity and graduate from a school where we feel like is home,” said Schulze.

The school board administrators said they factored in the county’s anticipated growth when they made the zoning proposal. The board is expected to vote on rezoning in two weeks on November 19.