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Plano School District Realigns Schools -- Again

Parents outraged about district's decision while others applaud board's move

By Amanda Guerra
|  Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011  |  Updated 1:00 AM CDT
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Plano parents say the school board's redistricting vote has divided their community again.

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

Plano parents say the school board's redistricting vote has divided their community again.

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Plano ISD Could Reopen Redistricting Battle

The Plano school district is considering revisiting the debate over school boundaries.

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Parents opposed to reopening the redistricting debate showed up in full force at the district's board meeting Tuesday night.
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For the second time in two years, the Plano school district has changed where students from one middle school will attend high school.

The Plano Independent School District board took another look at a contentious redistricting plan that was approved in December 2009.

The Plano ISD board voted 6-1 for a plan that would send all students at Schimelpfenig Middle School to Plano Senior High School, reducing the future population at Plano West High School.

Previously, students at Schimelpfenig Middle School in Plano had two options of where they would graduate high school.

The compromise plan from 2009, which was reached after months of open hostility, would have increased the size of Plano West High School over time to 3,400 students.

Plano West, now the district's smallest high school, would have taken students from the Eastside, which has seen intense growth. The school's population would grow up by to 50 percent.

Board members said the student population at Plano West is booming and on track to hit 3,400 students in the next few years.

But Plano parents say the redistricting vote two years ago divided their community and the school board's Tuesday night vote did it again.

"It felt very hurtful," parent Cleo Marchese said.

Marchese said her son will no longer attend Plano West.

"People just wanted to the best option for their child, and when you move right next to a school and your child can walk to that school within one mile, you kind of have the expectation that you're going to be able to continue to use that school," she said.

But other parents, such as John Donovan, said they were pleased with the board's decision to limit the student population at Plano West.

"I'd rather see my daughter, who's in sixth grade now, graduated in a class of 1,100 or 1,200 instead of in a class of 1,500 or 1,600 students," he said.

Board members said they considered several options to fix the population problem, including building an expansion at Plano West. However, they said realignment was the best solution.

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