Natalie Shelton wrote March 2011 for LaGrange Daily News Online, Parents: Seek other options to school consolidation
In considering the change at West Side, officials noted in last year’s budget proposal talks that about 73 percent of its students are bus riders, brought from all parts of the county. The school posts a per-student transportation cost of $1,198, more than twice the zone average of $529.There are some unhappy parents and students:
“Why is West Side so important to the county?” parent Brandi Kennedy asked. “You have buses picking up kids all over the county to go to West Side.”
Because children are chosen to attend the magnet school through a lottery, Kennedy said she couldn’t understand funding the fine-arts focus of the school when it is not more prestigious than other county schools.
Mountville parent Shelia Wessinger, whose daughter is in third grade, said her daughter in 2008 “lost friends because you bused them to Callaway.” With the possible consolidation, her daughter would be faced with a major enrollment change again.Do people in Hahira realize some of their children would get bussed to Valdosta High School if “unification” passed? And some children in Valdosta would get bussed to the new county high school north of town?
“We’re not underenrolled,” Wessinger said. “You took our children to Callaway.”