LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For the last ten years, Lewiston schools have seen such a large population growth that the elementary schools cannot sustain it under current district lines, according to Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster.
That's why Webster has proposed a redistricting that would send about 230 students to different elementary schools.
"There are few issues less emotional than redistricting," said Webster, describing the parent phone calls his office has received since the plan was announced.
The proposal would, in effect, distribute the district's poorest students and English Language Learners throughout the district's six elementary schools, instead of keeping them in a concentrated area.
"We've had growing enrollment for the last 10 years or so, so some schools are bursting at the seams," said Webster.
He said some schools have open classrooms, while others are running out of space.
The proposal can be reviewed in greater detail on the district website.
The school committee will ultimately decide on the redistricitng propsal at the end of February.
Before that, there will be parent meetings at each of the schools. The schedule can be viewed here.
Sonia Taylor, a member of the school committee and a parent in the district, said she has a number of concerns.
First, she thinks moving students to different schools will limit parent involvement, especially for those without their own form of transportation.
She also said transportation costs for the district could increase, as more students could need buses when they used to walk to school.
Taylor added that it would not be fair to parents who have moved to different areas of town to ensure their children would go to a certain school.
"It is not a crime for people to work hard, and to choose homes in areas that they feel is going to be a better environment for their children," said Taylor.
Her ultimate fear is such a sweeping change could push more students in the direction of charter schools.
Superintendent Webster said the commitee will announce a decision with enough time for parents to plan for the next school year.
He said the district will continue to review requests for school choice and accomodate as many as possible.
He said he would also consider a proposal to add more mobile classroom units, instead of implementing the redistricting proposal.