Santa Clara School Board votes on rezoning lines

November 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
More than a hundred children in the South Bay could be forced to switch schools. Their parents are convinced the reason their kids are being targeted is because they are renters, not home owners. Tuesday night's school board meeting was packed with angry parents.

The school board decided to redraw the boundary lines for those going to Don Callejon School, but with one caveat -- they will allow kids 3rd grade and up to continue going there, leaving the youngest to switch schools in the fall.

"This is unfair," said Christopher Simpson from Santa Clara.

Emotion and anger filled the Santa Clara Unified School Board meeting. The focus is on Don Callejon School. It's popular and it's packed, filled to capacity so the district is trying to ease congestion.

"My recommendation, it's going back to Callejon [plan] 'B,' is to redraw those boundary lines right down Lick Mill, back of Moreland [and] up Agnew," said superintendant Steve Stavis.

In other words, developments like Mansion Grove Apartments, directly across from Don Callejon, would be zoned out.

"I live here and my new school is not even on the map somewhere here," says Anand Singh, a parent.

Those living at Mansion Grove and two other complexes, were originally supposed to attend Montague Elementary School, a school roughly one mile away with plenty of room.

"We feel we can provide a great educational experience at Montague Elementary which is just across the road," says Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley, the Santa Clara Unified School District spokesperson.

"I would like to stay in the same school," says 4th grader Nila Cibu.

Since the lines were redrawn, more than 150 children could move to Montague. Some parents accuse the district of siding with property owners versus renters.

"I do feel that they are being, pretty much, taking side of the people who have homes rather than us rentals," says Avani Solanki, a parent.

Some homeowners insist Don Callejon was built specifically for new planned communities and the district should stick with the original game plan.

"You are hurting all of the students that are at the school in order to avoid a decision that will put other students at another well-performing school," says Jeff Hopkins, a parent.

The plan is to bus kindergarteners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders to Montague in the fall. Critics say this will cause major traffic problems.


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