Tift Co. Board of Education tables vote on school redistricting

Tift Co. Board of Education tables vote on school redistricting
Posted at 1:23 AM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 21:34:39-04

TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - The Tift County Board of Education has proposed new zones for the 2018-2019 school year, but at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting decided to extend the vote until August, or even, September.

The BOE hosted its first meeting since it announced possible rezoning on Tuesday.

Stacey Beckham is the director of communications for the Tift County Board of Education and she said that since the schools are primarily in the city of Tifton, some people may have to drive across town for their child's education.

In order to accommodate each school's capacity, transportation routes and demographics, Beckham said creating new zones has been in the works for years.

"Redistricting was, of course, a necessary thing. Right now our schools are divided as a kindergarten through 3, and we've got 4/5, um and so to make all of those schools become pre-k through 5 we've got to do some shifting," Beckham said.

Currently students attend a total of 7 different schools before graduating high school. The proposed rezoning would change that to just three.

"It is scary for some people and change is difficult, as it is for all of us," Beckham said.

While some parents say they are concerned about having to drive their children further to school, others are more concerned about the age range under one roof.

"I'm worried about the age bracket because if you're going from K all the way through 6 you know, that's a lot," Jarmaal McIntyre, Tift Co. resident and parent said.

For now, Beckham is optimistic for the Board's plan.

"We feel like in the long run this is going to be fantastic for our students because they'll get to stay at a school and won't have to be making as many transitions which can also be difficult to move schools so many times in our current configuration," Beckham explained.

Beckham said there are just about 8,000 students enrolled in Tift county schools.

So far the board has received 32 comment cards from parents expressing their concern for the proposed rezoning change.