It's not so simple

I read the short article on school redistricting as if affects the Glenaire neighborhood in the June 16 edition of the Hook ["Not Meriwether: The neighborhood that didn't want to go"].

Unfortunately, the article was far too short to give the subject of Albemarle County school redistricting a full investigation. Apparently some of the people interviewed, as well as your reporter, believe that there is a legally binding requirement that the County allow people to drive their children to the school of their choice regardless of the school district they live in.

This idea is commonly referred to as "grandfathering" in the case of the current redistricting plan.

It is my understanding that the County has not yet been committed to allowing grandfathering in this sense. It seems to me that this "grandfathering" clause is a mechanism by which many families have been co-opted from participating in the redistricting process because of its palliative effect. I have voiced my opinion on this in at least two public meetings.

The short quote from Diane Behrens justifying the rationale of redistricting as a relief from school overcrowding is by no means completely true. Earlier in this process, the Country proposed to build an entire elementary school to relieve overcrowding. Suddenly, in the last couple of months, it turns out that a new school is not actually necessary, but that a handful of children in our neighborhood are now causing overcrowding.

There is something wrong with a process where the numbers of children cause so many problems. With the county's 20-plus percent increase in property taxes, I believe that we would all rather have the new teacher at Murray than several new bus rivers to drive these and other affected kids all around the country.

The issue of school redistricting is complicated and involved, worthy of sustained investigative reporting.

John Fornato