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Redistricting Could Be In The Works For OKC Public Schools

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According to Oklahoma City school officials, it's a growing issue, and they say re-drawing district lines is the only way to immediately alleviate severe school crowding. According to Oklahoma City school officials, it's a growing issue, and they say re-drawing district lines is the only way to immediately alleviate severe school crowding.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City Public Schools is considering re-drawing district lines with a focus on the city's south side. For at least the past decade that side of town has seen a sharp population increase, and schools are overcrowded.

According to Oklahoma City school officials, it's a growing issue, and they say re-drawing district lines is the only way to immediately alleviate severe school crowding.

U.S. Grant High School sophomore Riley Beasley knows all too well what it's like to go to an overcrowded school.

"It's hard to get to class," said Beasley. "You've got five minutes to get to class and you're just back to back with all the kids there."

U.S. Grant on the south side of the city is the largest high school in the district with about 1,600 students enrolled. That's about 400 more than the school was originally built to hold.

"A lot more kids this year," said Beasley.

"The fact of life is that this is not an ‘if' and ‘are'. We're going to do it. We have to do it. We don't have a choice. South Oklahoma City is booming," said OKCPS school board member, Bob Hammack.

Hammack says it's the consensus of the board. Some schools are way too overcrowded, others are underserved. He says they're going to fix that.

"If we can move the district lines just a little bit, then that will maybe make that equilibrium between the schools," said Hammack.

Hammack says the redistricting will likely impact all levels of grade school.  

"So in many cases, we're going to ask these kids not to really move that much further away from one school to the other," said Hammack. "We're going to try and make it as undisruptive as possible, make it as easy as possible."

Meanwhile, Riley just hopes he's not forced to leave U.S. Grant.

"I like it there. It's just right down the street. I'd rather just stay there," said Beasley.

The district is still in the early stages of re-drawing district lines. OKCPS school board members are expected to begin discussing changes as early as next month.

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