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Schools won't be rezoned this year

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education is not expected to change attendance zones for its schools this year.

Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews announced Wednesday that he confirmed with BOE Chair Abigail Coggin this week that there is no intention to do so on the part of the majority of the school board.

"When enrollment warrants and new schools are built, or old facilities are replaced in keeping with state guidelines and funding, then the board will look at any needed rezoning," Mathews said. "That is not the case for next school year. And, it may not be the case for some several years."

Although a new Newton High School is scheduled to open in the fall, Coggin said rezoning isn't being considered since it's a replacement facility.

"Based on enrollment, there is no need to rezone at this time on the high school level," she said. "Rezoning school districts is a very complicated process due to the various factors that must be taken into consideration. It is not something to take lightly and needs to be done the right way, which takes time. The majority of my fellow board members agree."

She added that three board members have not participated in a school district rezoning on the BOE level before, so they will be meeting in the future to learn how the process has been done in the past and what the state requires.

According to NCSS, the last rezoning process occurred in the 2010-11 school year for elementary schools, resulting in implementation in the 2011-12 school year. The last high school rezoning process occurred in the 2009-10 school year and was implemented in the 2010-11 school year.