Lewisville ISD is requesting legal clearance to withhold several draft rezoning maps from the public. Some of the final maps will be made available to the public within the next few business days.
At its Sept. 24 work session, LISD staff presented the board of trustees with a handful of draft maps for rezoning different areas in the school district, including the imminent rezoning of Hedrick Elementary. The school will close after this year as part of the 2017 bond package, and students living in the area currently zoned for Hedrick will need to be sent to another school.
The board was shown three draft maps for how Hedrick rezoning could potentially work, as well as five other draft maps concerning three other areas of the district, but those maps were kept from the public, to the point of chief schools officer Joseph Coburn physically taking them up after the meeting to make sure no one but board members saw them. The board was asked to narrow the Hedrick rezoning down from three options to two. LISD paralegal Ingrid Gunter said those selected maps, as well as the five other maps concerning other areas of the district, should be available to the public either later today or early next week.
At the meeting, superintendent Kevin Rogers said the district had started with as many as 15 draft maps for how Hedrick rezoning could shake out, and narrowed those down to the three presented at the meeting without any board input. Board members have only ever seen the three maps that were presented to them, and potentially only the two that were selected could be made public.
How Hedrick Elementary students might be rezoned has been a lingering question since before the bond package was passed. Rogers said possibilities were written down as far back as March 2017, but that it would be irresponsible to speculate on where those students could be rezoned. In the end, parents were required to vote on the package knowing that the school would close, but not knowing where their children would be sent afterward.
The Lewisville Texan Journal filed an open records request for the 15 draft maps as mentioned by Rogers, but Gunter said the district would not disclose them. In an Oct. 4 email responding to the request, Gunter sent the PowerPoint presentation that was shown publicly at the Sept. 24 meeting, but said the maps were excepted from disclosure and the district would request a ruling from the Attorney General, which could take as long as 45 days.
The Lewisville Texan Journal has asked that the open records request proceed. The state Attorney General’s office now has 45 days to rule on whether or not the 15 maps, 12 of which were never seen by elected officials and 13 of which might never be seen by the public, must be disclosed.
The Lewisville Texan Journal will publish a story on the maps the district selected to move forward with as soon as they are available, and we will continue to pursue these draft maps. The district is expected to hold several public hearings on each of the rezoning issues, which include decisions surrounding elementary schools in Old Town Lewisville and Bridlewood and Flower Mound elementaries in Flower Mound. The district plans to take action on some rezoning projects, including the rezoning of former Hedrick students, as soon as November.
UPDATE: LISD’s rezoning proposals have been published, you can examine them here.