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Parents challenge proposed KHSD boundary changes

Kern High School District
Posted at 10:25 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 01:25:39-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Earlier this week, we told you that a committee is meeting about proposed boundary changes within the Kern High School District to help with an overcrowding issue according to the district.

As the Bakersfield High School motto says "once a driller always a driller." A group of Bakersfield High School parents are now putting these signs on their front lawns to protest a potential change to school boundaries within KHSD.

“Right now, after a pandemic, after we finally got the kids back to school, we don’t want to change the boundaries. We’d like to continue to go to our family high school,” said Joe Nahama.

BHS parent, Joe Nahama says he’s seen firsthand how boundary changes can impact families, when his brother had to go to Foothill instead of their family school, Highland in Bakersfield.

“It was not enjoyable in our family, whether to go, what to do, and we bought the house to be in Highland, and everything was switched,” said Nahama.

Decades later, Nahama currently has a freshman and a senior at BHS plus a sixth-grader. He does not want them to go through the same thing.

So, he and more than 140 families are putting signs up in their yards to notify the board that they still want their kids to remain at their current schools and not be impacted by potential boundary changes in KHSD starting next year.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Brooke Fernandez.

Brooke Fernandez is a third-generation BHS graduate with a third-grader she’s hoping will follow in her family’s footsteps.

She wants to see the data driving the decisions since she says BHS is not overcrowded.

“Give us a platform to have an engaged dialogue, that’s all we’re asking for, and I think the other piece is, don’t prefer a cosmetic over the true impact that can be negative,” said Fernandez.

Meanwhile, KHSD Board Trustee, Jeff Flores says it’s the combination of public feedback and the plans the committee pushes forward that will ultimately impact the redistricting decisions.

“I understand BHS has a proud history. Some neighborhoods have been going to that specific school site for 30 years. Some are inter-generational alumni, they’re proud, and loyalties and I respect that. So, I want to see them come forth during the public process. I want to see them be advocates for their preferred plan,” said Flores.

Flores adds the main objective of redistricting and eventually sending some KHSD students to the future Del Oro High School being built is to relieve overcrowding at schools like Miramonte, Arvin, Golden Valley, East High, and Highland High.

"But whatever actions we take in the south, southeast and northeast, there are ripple effects to other campuses, and I think that’s what you’re seeing at BHS, and at West and potentially Stockdale and others. But it is all connected at the end of the day,” said Flores.

Flores says parents have will have the opportunity to voice concerns at public hearings possibly in June and July. After the committee gives their formal presentation to the board in September, they’ll have additional time for public comment before the board adopts.