Elmore Co. parents voice education concerns

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Now open for classes, Redland Elementary school breathes new life into a budding community.

Some parents, however, worry the new facility may steal that breath from other schools, such as Wetumpka Elementary.

New zoning, critics say, gives Redland a more affluent student body than its sister school.  Parents say that could spell trouble.

"You have kids nowadays who have these huge supply lists, and they can't even bring supplies in, much less participate in fundraisers," said Cammie Blackmon, Co-President of the Wetumpka Elementary PTO.

Speaking in front of school board members on Monday, parents made their case.

Many of them worried an uneven mix of students-- and focus--could wreak havoc on their school.

"We're stuck now with issues with fundraising. We're stuck with issues of passing scores that will affect our AYP next year and funding for our schools," said parent Terri Butler.

Administrators say it's all about perception.

"With the concerned parents that showed up [Monday night], I've had an equal number who have sought me or members of my staff to tell them how pleased they are and how well things are going at Wetumpka Elementary," explained Dr. Jeff Langham, Elmore County's superintendent.

With the new system just days old, educators say they've struck an academic balance between the two schools.

"I just really write it off to--it's change, and it's unsettling to people, but I'm looking forward to a very successful year," Langham said.

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