Parents speak out on school redistricting plans in Middletown - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parents speak out on school redistricting plans in Middletown

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Woodrow Wilson Middle School (WFSB) Woodrow Wilson Middle School (WFSB)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

Hundreds of students in Middletown could be reshuffled and sent to other schools as part of a possible redistricting plan.

The superintendent of schools said the plan is more of a preemptive move to racially balance schools in Middletown.

All are in compliance right now, but in a few years that could change.

The district is also trying to spread out the free and reduced lunch program throughout the eight schools.

The plan has some parents concerned, and many spoke out at a meeting on Thursday evening.

More than 300 people came out to the meeting.

Catherine Roberts has two children at Moody Van Buren School, which teaches kindergarten students through second grade.

Under the redistricting proposal, her children could end up at Lawrence School, which is nearly eight miles away from home.

“The kids already do not get home until at least a half hour after school gets out and if they have to go to a school twice as far away, obviously it's going to take a bit longer,” Roberts said.

While distance is a concern, parents are also worried about uprooting their children from their school, teachers and friends.

“It would impact 837 students if it had been put in place this year,” Roberts said.

Under state law, no school should have a minority enrollment that is “substantially” above or below the level of that district overall.

Unbalanced schools are at risk of losing state funding.

There is no law regarding a socioeconomic balance.

“Knowing that socioeconomic balancing is not a mandated thing means that we don't have to do this so we do want them to take a step back and see if this is the right thing for Middletown schools,” Roberts said.

The deal is far from being done, but several plans are being debated.

The board of education will have the final say, but with five new members up for election this year, parents said they are making sure the candidates know their stance on this.

Another meeting will be held at Wilson Middle School next month, after the election.

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