Pasco Schools preview potential boundary changes

PASCO, Wash. -- It was a heated meeting Wednesday at McGee Elementary when parents saw for the first time what the potential boundary changes may be. They were concerned they have only days to decide what to do with their students. A large new development in Pasco may not be included in Rosalind Franklin's boundaries. Franklin is a new elementary planned for the Pasco School District.

The neighborhood called Madison Park is off Road 44. It's the length of a football field away from the new elementary school. But homes there would not be zoned for Franklin. Based on the preliminary proposal first presented Wednesday, kids would continue to go to McGee Elementary. That school is more than a mile away. Parents say it's unnecessary to travel on an unsafe route when another school will be much closer.

Jessica Christensen lives in Madison Park. She says, "If I want them to walk, they have to go over a mile, and the sidewalks aren't well-maintained. One of the roads isn't even paved, if they go the other direction, so it's not a very safe route for them to get to school. And it takes them at least 20 minutes to get there. So I have some safety concerns every day when my kids go to school, I'm worried about it, whether they're going to get flat tires whether they're going to make it to school."

UPDATE: Parents did have until Friday to apply for the opt-in lottery to request Franklin Elementary. This morning the district extended the deadline until January 28th. They have until the end of February to file an exemption to keep their students at their current school, however the exemption must be submitted in writing annually and transportation is not guaranteed. The boundary proposal is not a final decision.

There are two informational meetings planned Thursday.

5:30pm: Twain Elementary
6:30pm: Livingston Elementary

The school board hopes to make its decision by January 28th.