New DC school zone plan could impact thousands

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- For the first time in nearly 50 years, school zoning lines are being redrawn.

Luckily the changes will not take effect until 2015, because the District and Schools Chancellor still have a lot to explain to parents.

School Chancellor Kaya Anderson seemed prepared for the looming questions: "From community meetings to information on listservs, to information on websites, we want to make sure families get the information every way we know how."


Students attending their currently zoned school can chose to stay to the maximum grade level, even if they are reassigned into a different attendance zone, and siblings won't be forced to split up into two zones.

This is an education story that meets politics head on as we discovered in a one on one interview with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray: "One of the principles is to have a strong neighborhood system of schools in the city."

But the big announcement, and Mayor Gray's involvement in revising school zones, can be ripped up by any of the three candidates looking to succeed him as Mayor.

Muriel Bowser, the Ward 4 Councilmember and Democrat nominee for mayor, had implored Mayor Gray to wait on these changes until the next mayor. But when speaking to WUSA9, the mayor made it clear he didn't think these changes could wait: "Given the fact that this was a painstaking, lengthy process that we engaged in, it just doesn't make sense to have our parents and our children have to wait another year before this can even be announced."

With the election in November and the new mayor taking office in January, the elected mayor could, in theory, could reverse course on the school assignment plan.


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