Parents concerned about controversial St. Charles school plan

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WLS) -- Parents packed a special board meeting in west suburban St. Charles to express their concerns over a controversial school plan.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of elementary school students would be impacted by a proposed redistricting plan.

The standing room only crowd gave school board members an earful.

"These people right now don't trust you. They don't trust you because they don't trust this process," said St. Charles Alderman Dan Stellato.

At issue is the redistricting of St. Charles elementary schools, changing demographics and declining enrollment, forcing a redrawing of boundaries.

"We have some schools that are overutilized and some schools that are underutilized, so we're trying to balance that across the district," said Carol Smith, spokesperson for St. Charles Community Unit School District 303.

"This is not something that is ever easy. Anything that we choose to do, we are just trying to be good stewards for the whole community," said St. Charles School Board President Kathleen Hewell.

The plan being proposed would close Fox Ridge Elementary, turning the school into an early childhood center. But many parents object.

"I don't want St. Charles to be the school, to be the town that's closing school," said resident Mike Jonson.

Some parents also say the plan is being rushed. The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal less than a month after it was made public.

The plan, if approved, would be implemented in the fall. The board is scheduled to vote on the measure February 12.
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