Crowded schools may mean moving students

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Population growth and budget constraints mean some local school districts are looking to rebalance their schools.  It's a delicate process that involves moving some students from crowded schools to those with more space.

In Franklin Township, talks are underway, and the school board wants to make sure everyone is involved in this process.

It's a good news - bad news scenario. Parts of the district are growing because more families are moving in.

Now it's just a matter of trying to figure out where to put everyone when the money isn't there to open more buildings. Particularly, In Franklin Township, growth in the west side of the district has slowed down, while the east side has seen a housing boom.

So two of the elementary schools have reached their functional capacity and every bit of space is being used. On top of that, the middle school they feed is also starting to bulge at the seams.

While some schools may have extra space for, say, a school play, others are using those spaces as classrooms and school leaders say that's not providing equal access for all students.

Tough decisions are ahead.

"Nobody wants to move the school they're at," said Franklin Township Superintendent Flora Reichanadter. "People have a very strong desire to stay there. Even the ones who recognize that there's population surge, they understand it. They just don't want to be the ones to have to move."

Reichanadter understands that parents will get very emotional about having to leave their school - particularly their elementary school.  But her past experiences show the students are very resilient.

The superintendent says they will take their lead from the community input. There will be a town hall meeting on October 8 to specifically discuss those issues.

Parents can also stay tuned to the district website and Facebook page. The changes will start with the next school year, in the fall of 2014.

Franklin Township Schools aren't alone. Carmel Clay Schools and Hamilton Southeastern are also growing and have mentioned rebalancing as an option.