Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Balking at Redrawing Own Lines; City Council Was Planning to Offer Bill, but Concerns Raised over Time, Cost

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Balking at Redrawing Own Lines; City Council Was Planning to Offer Bill, but Concerns Raised over Time, Cost

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Patterson

Just one thing has stopped a plan at Jacksonville's City Council to let Duval County School Board members draw their own district boundaries: the School Board.

A board request caused the council to quietly withdraw a bill this week that would have asked voters whether the seven-member board should draw the districts that elect them.

The bill (2011-745) by Councilman John Crescimbeni was "empowering," School Board Chairwoman Betty Burney told the council Tuesday - but ultimately not necessary.

Burney said the board decided it wasn't interested in that power "after due diligence and after thinking about the cost and the fact that we have so much on our plate right now."

The council has set boundary lines for the district for decades, and did it again last year after city planners pulled data about neighborhood populations from the 2010 census.

But Crescimbeni thought about changing that after board members W.C. Gentry and Becki Couch told a council committee the boundaries didn't line up that well with some things important to the school system, like the feeder patterns that move kids from school to school at different grade levels. …

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