Parents fight to save elementary school

Community meeting outlines fate of Fern Creek Elementary School

ORLANDO, Fla. - Parents are fighting to save an Orange County School, pleading with local leaders to help them in any way they can.

Fern Creek Elementary, on Fern Creek Avenue in Orlando, is slated to close with the planned opening of two new, nearby kindergarten through eighth grade schools.

On Thursday parents and neighbors voiced their concerns to school board Chairman Bill Sublette.

"This is a hot mess, we're mad, you're asking us to be rezoned," said Alisha Kearns, who has a child at Fern Creek.

Sublette outlined the plan to build at least two K-8 schools -- one in Paramore, the other in Audubon Park. Those schools will help alleviate overcrowding at other schools in the county, and will serve as the new home for Fern Creek students, whose school is in need of renovations and is underpopulated.

"We just don't have the population to renovate two elementary schools and build a new middle school," Kearns said.

City Commissioner Patty Sheehan said she wants the school board to rezone kids at overcrowded Baldwin Park Elementary and put them in the extra seats at Fern Creek in order to keep it open.

"I'm disgusted, I'm disgusted because this is exactly a snapshot of how government should not be," she said.

Sublette says rezoning kids at Baldwin Park is not an option.

"I'm not going to force anybody to go to a school when they clearly have stated a desire to stay at a school they're at until a new relief school is built," Sheehan said.

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