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Silk Hope school redistricting

Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007

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Silk Hope, NC - I just returned from this evening’s school board meeting. I attended because I wanted to keep an eye on what happened concerning redistricting and to hear the board's final decision, even though we were still in the Silk Hope region, barely. At one time our area was out of the Silk Hope district and in the Siler City Elementary district.

I was amazed that very few parents attended the final hearing. This issue has been a hotbed for the community since the original redistricting proposal. Being a proud Silk Hope parent it created a lot of stress for everyone involved. Now for all of Siler City Elementary School supporters, I have nothing against your school except that you are twice as far from my home then Silk Hope is.

Board of Education member Gerald Totten has been a supporter of the community. I have high praise for him. The vote this evening was 4 to 1 in favor of the proposed district. The dissenting vote came from Debra McManus. Her concerns were valid but very limited. Her main concern is that the Silk Hope School is still over crowded even after the redistricting. She fails to grasp the concepts of contiguous attendance zones, bus travel time, natural boundaries and neighborhood cohesiveness; all of these items were items that weighed heavily on the final proposal.

The northwest part of the county is very spread out. Many families still own large tracts of land and generations of the same family live on that land. The same generations attend and have attended the Silk Hope School. There are several teachers who have been teaching there for close to forty years.

Ms McManus, this is why we are so passionate about our community and our school. Yes, Siler City Elementary is a good school but we are looking beyond the numbers. We are looking at the community we want our children to be brought up in. On our small country road we filled up over a row of chairs at one of the planning sessions. I like to believe that our dedication kept us in the school zone we wanted to be in.

The redistricting is over for now in the Silk Hope community. Who will be next? My bet is the Northeast. That is, if the school board will be given the funds by the commissioners to design and construct the needed facilities.

But that is another story for another Chatlister.

 
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