The existing high school boundaries.
The existing high school boundaries.

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Thought the Height Act was contentious? Try telling parents where they can send their kids to school.

Today, the city kicked off a process to reconsider public school boundaries and feeder patterns across the District. According to the mayor’s office, it’ll be the first comprehensive review of the city’s student assignment policies in more than 30 years.

Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith will lead the review process, and will serve as co-chair of a new D.C. Advisory Committee on Student Assignment, along with John Hill, president of the D.C. Board of Library Trustees. The committee will submit recommendations next May to Smith’s office, which will release a final plan next September. The changes will take effect in the 2015-2016 school year, with some students “grandfathered” to remain in their current boundaries.

The redrawing of boundaries is something education advocates have long discussed as necessary. But it’s also a political hot potato, given the fiercely negative reaction parents can have to being told they’ll have to send their children to different schools than the ones they expected—-particularly if they were counting on high-performing schools and need to shift to lower-performing ones.

Map via D.C. Public Schools