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Western Henrico parents want redistricting plans to eliminate overcrowding

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 18:29:03-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Parents will sound off over a revised plan to reduce class sizes in Henrico County Thursday evening.

Some parents said that the options presented so far don’t present any long term solutions.

"None of the options that have been presented are really a long-term solution,” said Tonia Blanchet, a concerned parent whose daughter attends Hungary Creek Middle. “They're breaking up elementary schools; there are still issues of overcrowding."

School leaders presented several different scenarios that would redraw the school boundaries, to help alleviate overcrowding.

Tonia Blanchet wants better, longer term and equitable options.

A fourth option called “Option D” is on the table, following public input on the plans.

But Blanchet said redistricting is not the focus. She believes county school leaders are more concerned about school accreditation and poverty issues at East End schools.

"We are seeing kind of a split in our community where the East End of Henrico has more issues with poverty,” she said. “And thus many of their schools are Title One which means they are getting federal funds to help them out.”

“They have classes that are restricted, which I am all for,” she added.

But she emphasized that other schools will suffer because of it.

She said she wants a scenario where there are no “more than X number of students, whether it's an East End school or a West End school."

"Our first accomplishment has been to reduce the overcrowding in Hungary Creek Middle School,” said Andy Jenks, spokesperson for Henrico County Public Schools.

Jenks said the school system is looking at a larger redistricting plan for the fall of 2018.

“…And redrawing the boundaries in such a way that our community is satisfied -- it's certainly what's on the forefront now."

School leaders will make a decision on the Redistricting plan in June.