BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Parents are fought the Palm Beach County School Board and lost Wednesday. Fears their children will be uprooted from Sunset Palms Elementary School are almost realized.
Several parents thought they struck a deal with a school district committee in December that students who wanted to stay at Sunset Palms could. But the School Board reconsidered sending them to Coral Reef insisting the overcrowding issue needed to be resolved.
The school board voted 4-3 Wednesday to move forward with boundary changes that will move about 100 students from Sunset Palms Elementary School to Coral Reef Elementary, except those going into the fifth grade.
Darren Sapache was so dedicated to try and prevent that he took Wednesday off to attend the afternoon school board meeting.
"You really get invested along with your child in the school. The kids know the teacher, the area, so it's an investment that just being pulled away," says Sapache.
Increased growth in suburban Boynton Beach has Sunset Palms at 103% capacity. Parents pleaded with the board not to force their kids out.
"What a shame and a failure to our children, to move our children, only to find out come August it was unnecessary," says one parent.
"Please do not break our kids hearts over predictions, please keep stability in their lives. View these children and their happiness as if they were your own children," says Dina Wrathell, who has a daughter in first grade at Sunset Palms Elementary.
Parents are questioning whether the school district has accurate numbers on how overcrowded the campus would be next year if nothing was done.
"We don't have a clear number, the parents have gone door-to-door, we don't really know how many students are remaining from those communities," says board member Karen Brill.
With hundreds of other homes slated to be built in the area over the next couple of years, parents fear the problem will persist.
"This is just a band-aid. You're going to have to do the same thing next year and the year after. Let our kids finish through," says Sapache.
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