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No winning in redistricting

   Redistricting elementary schools is a no-win issue, says former Lancaster Superintendent Joseph L. Girardi.

   That's what Orchard Park is finding out.

   Girardi says when Orchard Park Superintendent Joan Thomas told him her district's schools were out of whack and needed new attendance boundaries, he tried to warn her.

   "It's just not a pleasant thing to do," he said. "It's never, never going to be an accepted issue."

   He said the easiest way to redistrict is to draw a line around a school, and keep making it larger until the school is filled up. Then do that with the other schools. The children left outside the lines have to go to the least populated school.

   Lancaster has had some experience in redistricting. The district grandfathered fifth graders and their siblings in their current schools, and made sure the children from the same grade were kept together in the same classroom at their new school.

   If not redistricting, there's always portable classrooms and bond issues for renovations and additions, or the do-nothing option, he said.

   But really, it's a no-win for school administrators and school boards.

   "As soon as you draw the line in the sand,... then all hell breaks loose," he said.

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