Hillsborough School Board narrows redistricting plans

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Friday the Hillsborough County School Board met to narrow the six proposed redistricting plans down to three. Many parents in attendance voiced concerns about the process of redistricting.

Five community meetings were held to gather community input on the maps. Elizabeth Thomas, a parent asked board members why more of the board members weren’t present at those meetings.

Parents don’t feel HCSB is listening

“If you’ve agreed to redistrict before the end of the year and you’re responsible for the process, accountable to constituents and truly committed to applying community input to your decisions,” Thomas said. “Then why weren’t you all at the Community Connections meetings to answer questions?”

Board Member Melissa Snively says those meetings were set without consulting board member’s calendars which may account for some absences. Josefina motto says it seems like decisions on the maps were made before the final community meeting and how much do you care about the Hispanic and black community when you already tiered your decisions on the maps on Friday and received them this morning.

Six plans narrowed to three

Prior to the Middleton meeting, the Board moved to narrow down the maps that are labeled E F and C. Board Member Snively who attended remotely was the lone dissenting vote against bringing the three maps to vote this week. She says she feels like the process which has taken 45 days is being rushed and the board needs to take more time to listen to parents.

“It is obvious that the community does not feel like they have been engaged in this process,” Snively said. “The process feels rushed. That process is flawed.”

A final vote is set for Thursday, where the new school board electoral district boundaries are going to be decided by December 31. The school board will approve adjustments and boundaries will be effective when students return to school after winter break.