Genoa residents concerned Westerville redistricting
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Genoa Township resident Joe Barganier attended last Thursday evening’s Genoa Township Board of Trustees meeting to express concerns about the Westerville City School District’s elementary school redistricting.
The Westerville school district is considering four alternative plans for redistricting. If the district selects Alternative 3, some Genoa Township students currently attending Alcott Elementary School and Fouse Elementary School may be bused out of Genoa Township to Pointview Elementary School to help balance district demographics.
Barganier said children living in the impacted neighborhoods should all go to the same elementary school; and that many residents move to a neighborhood based on the schools their children would be attending.
“We made major financial decisions based on where our children would go to school,” Barganier said. “If we had wanted our kids to go to a different school, we would have moved to a different neighborhood.”
Barganier also said that sending children to a school other than their neighborhood school would cause a decline in home values that will also affect other homeowners in the area because comparisons for sales are drawn from nearby areas.
“This affects the entire neighborhood, not just residents with elementary age school children,” Barganier said. “A decline in housing values ultimately equates to a decline in revenue for the school district.”
Barganier also noted the impact of moving students to a school a 20-minute drive away from home would be challenging for working parents and decrease opportunities for involvement in school activities.
He also cited longer bus routes, and lack of teacher, staff and peer continuity as having a negative psychological impact on the elementary students.
“This sends a message that Westerville is so unpredictable that you can’t expect to attend the school as the boundaries are drawn when you move into the district,” Barganier added. “This would be detrimental to homeowners and to the reputation of our community. What assurances do any Westerville residents have that it couldn’t also happen to them? What message is being sent to our community and to others about our community?”
Barganier said concerned residents are holding a 6:30 p.m. open house at Alcott Elementary School on Tuesday, February 19. Interested residents are encouraged to attend the open house.