A few Sioux Falls homeowners have boundary issues with Tea Area - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

A few Sioux Falls homeowners have boundary issues with Tea Area Schools

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A group of Sioux Falls homeowners is suing the Tea Area School District.

They asked if they could opt out of the district and the district said "no."

Governor Daugaard signed a bill this year which sets guidelines for minor boundary changes.

KSFY News spoke with the attorney representing these parents, who says they are exercising their rights to petition for a change.

Some homeowners in the Westwood Valley subdivision have boundary issues with the Tea Area School District.

Attorney Sam Goodhope said "all of these students have Sioux Falls city addresses, but they just happen to be in the Tea school district because of where their homes are located."

Three Sioux Falls homeowners petitioned the Tea school district to change that but the district said "no" so they're taking their case to court.

"There has been a precedent set by the Tea school district when they allowed these other 16 homes to petition out of this area, in fact, the three petitioners in question, their homes abut up against these 16 homes that were allowed to petition out of the Tea school district," Goodhope said

And the parents suing Tea Area Schools and the district disagree on whose kids will win or lose in this case.

"All of the parents of these children live and work in Sioux Falls, so it would be much more convenient to take them to and from schools as well as to attend activities," Goodhope said.

Tea Area Schools superintendent Jennifer Lowery said "for a district, with less than 3.8 percent of the valuation of the Sioux Falls district, it is critical that we protect the tax that supports the education of the children of the district."

In testimony during this year's legislative session, Lowery supported legislation to set guidelines for boundary changes.

"Our school board makes decisions based on long range planning projections, valuations drive these long range planning projections and the ability to meet the needs of our students," Lowery said.

"The school district has placed tax revenue above the best interests of these nine kids," Goodhope said.

To break down the taxes, a $100,000 house on one side of Tea-Ellis Road would pay about 900 dollars in taxes to the Sioux Falls district, but a house with the same value on the other side of the street would pay about $1250 in taxes to Tea Area Schools.
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