srp1976 gets it! The school board has never clarified exactly what is their methodology for creating or retooling schools zones. Do they even look at census data or are they listening to voices in the wind? The city council and county commission can map out populations down to a nth degree in order to redistrict voters to within a small threshold but the school board flings wet spaghetti noodles at a map and calls it a plan.
My experience over the last two years working with the school system on the Hill City zoning issue enabled me to predict this East Hamilton storm.
April, Chattanooga Middle was retooled in 2008. As time passes young families have children and young children grow into school aged children. To say that "all Hill City residents were offered slots" is but a snapshot of the community at that point in time. This is 2012, life goes on. I have neighbors up and down the streets with children at various ages. Full zoning for Hill City is a satisfactory goal and is mandated by the school board's November 3, 2011 vote to do exactly that.
Normal Park was always meant to be a community school - that is why it has a zone. My neighbors in North Chattanooga need to wake up to the parasitic home developers that have profited mightily off of your hard work and dedication. The Perry North development - 44 homes in the $300,000 range - is going to cause overcrowding and will further impede on magnet seats & diversity. The lottery this year didn't weight for socioeconomic status or geography and that will further detract from diversity through the magnet system.
Normal Park leadership came out fiercely opposed to adding Hill City to the zone, where is the strong public opposition to the Perry North development?
My brothers and sisters on Tremont, Mississippi, Oliver, Normal Ave, Colville, etc need to wake up and see that Hill City's fight is your fight too.
A point of clarification: the Perry North development is not in the Hill City Neighborhood Association's boundaries. Our northern boundary is Meroney Street. The Perry North Development is in the Northshore/Cherokee Community Association's boundaries. The Regional Planning Agency refers to this whole general area as the Hill City/Northshore area and that is based on a 2003 planning study. The TFP article about Perry North cited, in part, the RPA's more general designation - stating the development is in Hill City when it is actually in the "Hill City/Northshore planning area."