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Parents take concerns over attendance boundary changes to KHSD public forum

A parent addresses concerns over proposed attendance boundary changes during a meeting with Kern High School District officials Wednesday night, July 12, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The Kern High School District held the third forum to get input from parents about proposed boundary changes that would affect where some students attend.

"I don't have a real voice in it, and our three options are really the same option, there’s just slight differences,” said concerned parent Christine Pence. “I think we’re doing a lot of disruption to the current families."

The rezoning could affect students at Centennial, Frontier, Liberty, North and Shafter high schools.

The boundary changes had a list of criteria, and one was to achieve wide support. However, that's not what the district is getting.

Pence said she feels that the district is sacrificing her children's education and the value of her home. She bought her house for her kids to go to Centennial, but the proposed plan would be sending them to North, which she said has lower test scores.

One of the main reasons for changes is overcrowding. But the projected numbers show that Frontier will actually be under capacity in the proposed plans.

The district is predicting that there will be more homes built in that area, and they need to plan for the growth.

"I don't think we should make reductions to a school based on speculation," said attendee Darin Budak. "We can worry about the future when the future comes, and I understand we are trying to plan for it, but it might not ever change."

Some parents said they hope the district will delay the decision, because the district changed boundaries already in 2011.

One parent in attendance said he's sure a new school will be built in the coming years, and then boundaries will again have to change.

Roger Sanchez, director of research and planning for the KHSD, said a new school could be a possibility, but there's not the need now.

"The process is never easy," he said. "You know, you don't buy a home in a certain location and then expect to be moved. We understand that. But we also understand that having, you know, 2,700 students in a high school that has a capacity of a little over 2,100 is not a good educational environment for the kids. And when we do have room in surrounding schools, it makes sense to have those changes, even though they can be painful."

On Aug. 7, the school board will pick one of the three plans based off of all the feedback they received throughout the public forums.

There will be one more meeting held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Shafter High School.

If you were not able to make the meeting, you can email the district at boundaryquestions@kernhigh.org. July 31 will be the last day the KHSD will be accepting comments and concerns.

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