St. Lucie Public Schools prepares to update school assignment policy
Public school students in St. Lucie County could soon be assigned to a new school. The school district is looking to update its student assignment system to something called proximity zoning.
"We're looking at options to send students to schools closer to their homes," St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jon Prince said.
This comes as they prepare to open two new schools in the Tradition area of Port St. Lucie due to the region's rapid growth.
"In the next five years, our county is adding 50,000 single-family homes, so we're aggressively trying to keep up with that by building new schools," Prince said.
Prince said their current school assignment system is outdated and is only costing them more money on transportation.
However, the school district believes proximity zoning will help them minimize transportation costs.
"Currently, we spend about $28 million for transportation for students in the district annually," Prince said. "As we grow, those transportation costs are going to get more and more and more, and it's going to be untenable in the near future."
Parents like Rachel Savela are optimistic about the change.
"I have two school-aged children," Savela said. "I think it will be a positive thing for the students and the district as a whole."
The school district is bringing in a consultant to help them implement the new school assignment policy.
"We don't want to move a lot of students," Prince said. "We want to move as few students as possible, so really what we are trying to look at is how can we accomplish that goal while also increasing our efficiency with transportation."
The change is expected to come in 2025. They still don't know exactly how many students will be affected, but the school district said they plan to notify parents of the changes well in advance.
Scripps Only Content 2023