Sibling preference vote set for Oct. 9

Tania Martin, Staff Writer

After months of discussion and research, the Brevard County School Board is expected to soon render a decision regarding the sibling preference clause in place at the district’s Choice Schools, including West Shore. The five school board members — Dr. Barbara Murray, Amy Kneessy, Dr. Michael Krupp, Andy Ziegler and Karen Henderson — will be able to vote at the Oct. 9 school board meeting, and that vote will produce one of three possible outcomes:

• The sibling preference policy will remain in place “as is,” allowing younger siblings of students who already are enrolled in school automatically have a place in the choice school.

• The sibling preference policy as it is written now will be eliminated, but current families will be grandfathered in, or

• The sibling preference will be eliminated outright.

While board members will not openly express their thoughts to the press, videos and attendees at recent discussion meetings provide a glimpse as to how each member might vote.

Murray and Kneessy both are on record showing their support for keeping the sibling preference clause as is. Krupp has said he wants to consider grandfathering in current choice school families, and Henderson wants the sibling preference clause eliminated.

Ziegler was not present at the discussion meeting, but he said in an email that  “statistically sibling preference does not provide equal opportunity.”  However, he also expressed concern about the negative effects that might occur if the clause were removed.

West Shore parent Amy Moore said there is still time to impact the board’s upcoming decision.

“While I am optimistic that sibling preference will remain in some form, I am still cautious about the board’s vote,” said  Moore, the mother of Brevard Public School students and a participant in pro-sibling preference rallies. “Now, more than ever, it’s important for choice school families to continue to rally and show up in force at the meeting Oct. 9.”