By Sharon Aron Baron
On Wednesday, School Board Member Abby Freedman still had not pulled her boundary proposals to bus children in the unbuilt portion of Parkland despite the fact that they went against usual Broward County policy by not following traditional boundary guidelines.
Freedman’s proposals mix innovation zones, skip over transportation zones and would not have been proposed by staff at the school district. Worrisome homeowners who have put money down on homes in this area want to know why her proposals call for children to be bussed clear across town when it isn’t necessary. See Boundary Proposals
Concerned parents have taken to social media on a Facebook page now at 600 members including Parkland Mayor Michael Udine who has demanded Freedman take down her proposals. Instead, Freedman appeared at the Coral Springs City Commission meeting on Wednesday evening and justified the reasons for her proposals in the public comments section. Freedman told the Mayor and Commissioners that she did not believe that the school board proposed accurate figures based on the number of children moving into the newly annexed “Wedge” area of Parkland and that is why, she explained, created her own boundary proposals.
A portion of the Heron Bay Community is in the City of Coral Springs, and Freedman told the commission that when she ran for her seat last year, she said she would not displace students in Coral Springs and feels that displacing them would not be conducive to their education. She also reminded the commission that she is a county official, not only representing Coral Springs and Parkland, but Tamarac, Margate and North Lauderdale. Freedman said next Monday evening she will be sharing her numbers so that the commission will be aware of what will be transpiring and encouraged them to attend the boundary meeting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at 6:30 pm.
Mayor Vincent Boccard said he believed that social media has blown the boundary proposals out of proportion. “You don’t do these things at a highly emotional state. These are just recommendations. They are just opinion,” he said about Freedman’s proposals. “Don’t let social media drive your emotions.”
Boccard wanted to reassure residents that they were listening. “We are involved, but we want to get our ducks in a row and we don’t make decisions on emotions.”
Commissioner Dan Daley who graduated from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was more vocal about the proposals that Freedman put forth.
“I want to be clear on this: that I think it’s ridiculous (the proposal) to bus students outside their neighborhoods,” said Daley.
Daley said he is fond of the Demographics & Student Assignments Staff recommended S3 proposal that has future students attending either Heron Heights Elementary or Park Trails Elementary to be randomly assigned to either school.
Commissioner Larry Vignola said after the meeting that he favored the staff recommended S3 proposal as well. “I don’t like the idea of moving students to the other schools. I think there is a way we can work together.”