COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Columbia Board of Education voted to approve the first phase of attendance boudary changes which will move about 100 students next fall.
District leaders and the company contracted to look into any potential changes Cooperative Strategies recommended the Phase 1 Elementary Attendance Area Boundaries for Parkade Elementary to the Board of Education, which was meant to alleviate overcrowding at Parkade Elementary School.
Watch the meeting in the video player below.
According to Cooperative Strategies, Parkade Elementary is currently at 130% capacity and is slated to be at 142% by 2024. The plan includes moving students to Alpha Hart Elementary School.
Chris Newman with The Company Real Estate said anytime school boundaries change, more people look to buy and sell their homes.
"Parents have to make tough decisions, and in general, parents want their students to stay at the same schools they are at, they have friends, they have neighbors," Newman said. "A lot of time parents are willing to sell their house and buy a house literally across a road sometimes just to stay in the district."
The board was also presented two new options for phases 2 and 3 of the plan. The first would relocate about 26% of k-5 students, while the second would move about 11%.
The board is set to vote on that on June 14.
He said families, including his own, want their children to stay at the same schools for teachers and continuity of education and other factors.
"Sometimes moving these lines a little bit on a map doesn't seem like a big deal, but it can have significant impacts on families, and force them to make really tough decisions," Newman said.
The changes could also impact the price of housing in Columbia. Newman said the continued lack of housing on the market paired with more demand could spike prices even higher.
"The volume of homes on the market is at an all-time low," Newman said. "As they change these boundaries, even if people want to move, there might not be any place for them to move."
Newman said he and his family are closely watching these changes because his children could be impacted by the change.
"In one of the scenarios, our neighborhood is going to be split in half to where one of my students and his best friend would go to different schools," Newman said. "It's tough to look at that because he lives like 50 yards away."
Newman advocated for more neighborhood-driven school boundaries, to keep families who live in the same area together.