Bryan ISD Trustees Clarify Grandfather Clause

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Just when you thought the issue of Bryan Middle School attendance and transportation zones had been laid to rest, trustees decided to revisit the issue to make some clarifications.

One such question that needed clarification: would homeowners who were grand-fathered into a school zone be allowed to move within a transportation zone or grand-fathered area and still fall into the grand-fathered category?

Trustees say the question had never been specifically addressed in previous discussions.

"This is just kind of the tip of the iceberg," said Bryan School Trustee Merrill Green. "These things can get very emotional. The more we can tie down, the more we can put in writing, I think that is going to prevent down the road some problems that will exist."

The suggested motion allowed for residents to move within a transportation zone or grand-fathered area, and the grand-fathering would stand. The motion did however incite some differing opinions.

"I think the original intent of the grand-fathering clause was to accommodate people who own homes and then were moved into another district by the attendance zones," Trustee Douglas Wunneburger said. "I think that if they're moving and buying a new house, then they know what attendance zone they are in."

Board Member David Stasny had a different view. "I felt like there would be certainly no harm to the district or to a particular school by allowing the interpretation I suggested," he said. "It wouldn't matter if they're moving in or out of the grand-fathered area as long as they're staying within that particular school zone."

Stasny's motion passed, but not before the issue of school capacity could be addressed. Some feel with no stringent limitations or capacity rules in place, schools such as the new Davila Middle School could see lower numbers of students.

"I'm concerned that in the future, we're going to have to revisit this issue of attendance zone lines, because we're going to reach capacity at some of our schools," Wunneburger said.

"A lot of people say, 'it's a new school, and if I had a child, I would send my child to a brand new school with all the excellence of it, but you have the opposite of that, and brother and sister went to another school, and it may be if I have a chance I'll just send my child there.' So it's going to be a real challenge before we can nail all this down," Green said.

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