Catherine Ross, Plano Reporter
Parents in the Plano Independent School District are divided over plans to ease overcrowding at Huffman Elementary School and move those students to three other elementary schools. Parents at Haggard Elementary say their school is taking on the biggest burden.
Plano school trustees unanimously passed on Tuesday a controversial plan to ease overcrowding.
The plan moves 170 students from Huffman Elementary School to three different schools: Brinker, Centennial and Rose Mary Haggar.
Before Tuesday night's school board meeting, parents said they were worried about overcrowding as well as the standard of education.
"I just want to make sure it's more about giving kids a better quality of education," said Huffman Elementary parent Jahn Smith.
Many parents at Haggar said that moving dozens of children to their school would stretch resources.
"We have to do our part to take some of these students," said Haggar parent Kimberly Matteson. "We just want it to be fair and equitable."
Matteson said Haggar would be nearly at capacity by next fall under the plan and worries that it would, in turn, face overcrowding.
She also said she has seen the school's rating decrease over the years and worries about more decline with more students in the existing space.
Smith, who faces the possibility of his child changing schools next year, said he worries about the overcrowding problem continuing.
"Say that school is overcrowded in another year's time -- then it's changing to another school again," he said.
Concerns about socioeconomic factors were also addressed in public meetings.
Many parents asked why the plan did not call for another nearby school, exemplary-rated Barksdale, to take in students.
Most of the Huffman students slated to head for Haggar under the proposal come from a nearby apartment complex, parents say. Huffman has also become one of the most "income diverse" schools in the district, bringing in students from far north Dallas as well as the affluent Willow Bend area of Plano.
The district said its plan is based on available space and geographic convenience for students.
But some parents said they are still concerned.
"Redistricting always does have some socioeconomics involved, whether it's minute or whether it's on a grander scale," Smith said.
However, others parents said it's just about preventing cramped classrooms and keeping high standards of education.
"It's not a socioeconomic issue for us," said Jill Bergus, a Haggar parent. "We're just asking for less kids. We don't care where the kids come from; we just want less of them."