BARLING, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fort Smith Public Schools is considering moving Barling students from Northside High School to Southside High School.
On Monday, Feb. 7, parents and community members attended an informational meeting to learn about the proposed rezoning. Barling parent Amanda Coffman said students have gone to Northside for decades and that’s something she doesn’t want to see changed.
“I’m really disappointed the school district is wanting to make this change, Barling residents have always attended Northside,” Coffman said.
Coffman said she had envisioned her child also getting the chance to attend Northside.
“It’s always been my son’s dream to go to Northside, he’s always attended their football games, their basketball games, all of their camps,” Coffman said.
School board member, Dalton Person, said the disparity between the two high schools’ student populations makes looking at rezoning necessary.
“Last year there were 700 plus more students at Northside than Southside, this year that number is approximately 500 and the forecast has that trend continue for several more years,” Person said.
Person said he understands rezoning Barling would be a break to years of precedent, but it’s something the board has to consider.
“I think what we have to do is deal with the here and the now, where we are, as opposed to thinking about why people did or didn’t do something years in the past,” Person said.
The rezoning is not a done deal yet. Parents can submit their thoughts on it here. The school board is also expected to discuss it at its next board meeting.