In a public hearing Wednesday on a controversial plan to redraw Ventura’s school boundaries, several of the more than 200 parents, echoing comments from an earlier hearing and from school board meetings, asked the district to throw out the plan.
Other parents who addressed a panel of administrators said the proposal, which would change the boundaries for most of the 23-school district, was unfair to some students because they would be bused to schools beyond those closest to their homes.
Parents from the Saticoy and Cabrillo Village areas also came out strongly against the plan. Alicia Solis read a statement from parents in those neighborhoods, saying, “Our communities do not and will not accept this. . . . It would only accomplish segregation in east Ventura.”
Under the plan, a bilingual program would be moved to Saticoy Elementary School, increasing minority enrollment from 32.9% to 53.7%.
She said the plan would deprive students in those heavily Latino areas of exposure to other cultures and that it would promote gangs and violate individual rights, since parents weren’t consulted during the drafting of the plan.
The meeting at Anacapa Middle School, conducted in both English and Spanish, was the second of four scheduled hearings on a proposal to change school boundaries in the 15,000-student district. About 150 parents attended the first hearing last week.
Using large maps showing the district’s present boundaries and the proposed ones, administrators outlined the plan to parents in the audience.
Under the plan, 3,440 students would be assigned to schools other than those that they would attend under present boundaries.
District officials have said the plan would allow more children to attend the same schools together through the 12th grade, would reduce busing and would cut transportation costs. Officials said that in implementing the plan, they would maintain the racial balance in the district’s 23 schools.
A district report estimated that the plan would save 420 busing miles a day for the district’s elementary and middle school students. But after parents questioned the figure, officials acknowledged that the mileage savings would depend on a new middle school being built to replace the aging Cabrillo Middle School.
Officials have said the plan would not take effect before the 1992-93 school year at the earliest, and that if redrafts are needed, it could be as long as five years before the plan is implemented.
The district owns land for a new school but has no money for construction. A bond issue is being studied as a way to raise money for new schools.