At the Pasco County School Board meeting that took place on January 16th, three parents spoke out about the decision to turn Ridgewood HS into a technical school and the rezoning of students that would result from the decision.
One parent expressed concern about the loss of the athletics department, as their child had been involved in athletics while at Ridgewood and would not be able to stay there for athletics in their final year. This parent was also concerned that the School Board has yet to determine how diplomas will work and if her child will be able to get a diploma there.
Another parent was concerned about not knowing at this point where their child would be going in the following year as rezoning has not been finalized. The School Board voted, with opposition from Member Luikart, to rezone students from Ridgewood. Luikart stated that while he didn’t agree with the decision, it was at the point where students needed to know where they were going to school for the next school year.
The last parent expressed concern that the last year’s rezoning decision was just determined to be voided by the court system. With this issue in mind, the School Board may face more opposition with their rezoning, even though they are doing it differently than last year. The court decision turned on the lack of visibility in the School Board’s process due to the Sunshine Law.
The School Board is made up of elected public servants. It is their job not only to listen to the parents, teachers, and students of Pasco County in their decision making, but to keep the public informed on their decisions. As Pasco grows, we must start making better decisions for our students so they are not overcrowded, so they are not moved every year because the schools we are moving them to are already full, and so our students can have a voice in their educational decisions.