MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was standing-room only at the Minneapolis Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, as dozens of parents spoke out on an issue that wasn’t on the agenda.

Many people are concerned about a recent school boundary study that could spell out sweeping changes for many in the district. The meeting’s public comment period lasted for more than four hours.

The study suggests magnet schools be centrally located in the city, cutting the number from 12 to seven.

Attendance boundaries for community schools could be re-drawn, potentially forcing more than half of students to switch schools.

Elementary and middle schools may also be re-shaped. K-8 model schools would be done away with in favor of K-5 and middle schools.

“The comprehensive district design is intended to be a blueprint for how the structures, policies and resources align to provide a well-rounded education to every student in every part of our city,” Minneapolis School Board Director Nelson Inz said.

The district’s goal is to reduce the number of racially-isolated schools and create change by offering the same opportunities for students across the city.

Tracey Schultz teaches science at Barton, one of the magnet schools that would be impacted. She believes the study’s proposed changes would create turmoil within the district.

“We work with really diverse students and school is stability, so 63% of our students and families changing schools, changing teachers,” Schultz said. “There’s nothing stable about that.”

A series of meetings for parents will take place later this month and throughout the month of February.

After hearing from parents, the board of education is expected to formally vote on a proposal in April.

More information on those meetings can be found here.

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