Fremont school district tells developers to build more schools

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The Fremont Unified School District sent a strong message to developers Wednesday night: if you want build houses, you must also build schools. A vote by the school board only begins to address the problem in the district. (KGO-TV)

The Fremont Unified School District sent a strong message to developers Wednesday night: if you want build houses, you must also build schools. A vote by the school board only begins to address the problem in the district.

The median home price in Fremont is over $800,000. People want to live there and the school district is suffering from its popularity while developers are profiting from it.

"A big part of what sells homes in Fremont is the quality of our schools and that quality only diminishes when overcrowding becomes an issue," said one woman.

That is the key reason why people packed the Fremont Unified School District boardroom.

Attorney Dave Lanferman, representing the Patterson Ranch development, asked for relief from an "uncertainty" vote. Its school assignment is "unassigned" meaning new students are not guaranteed a spot in neighborhood schools.

"We are not going to overload schools that are already overloaded," school board clerk Larry Sweeney said.

"We're going to have families with children moving in, in the next coming months and they're going to want to know 'Where's my starting point?'" Lanferman said.

The North Fremont development will add some 500 homes and originally included a new elementary school, but the developer has since backed out. That is leaving the burden on the school district to accommodate more students who will get a spot, but maybe across town.

"We have the ability and the right to assign those students any school we feel is appropriate. That's guaranteed by law. That's the only thing that we have. That's the only leverage we have," Sweeney said.

The board voted unanimously to keep the Patterson Ranch designation as unassigned, thus pressuring developers to build schools.

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realestateeducationschool boarddevelopmenthousingschoolsteachersprotestFremont
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