WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The price tag on private school is prohibitive for many parents, but New Hanover County's middle school redistricting has been a powerful motivator for some parents to dig deep into their pocketbooks.
Today was not Heather Weeks's daughter's first day of school. She's actually been in classes for about a week now at Myrtle Grove Christian. That's because her mother says she's lost faith in New Hanover County's public school system.
"Most of the neighborhood, we don't know each other because we all go to different schools," Weeks said. "There's no redistricting when you go to a private school. There's consistency. Your child goes to the same school. They get used to the structure that's provided, and it's not disruptive."
Weeks is one of many parents who feel New Hanover County's middle school redistricting is not only affecting academics, but splitting up neighborhoods.
"It's so nice to be able to rely on your neighbors and to develop relationships within your neighborhood, but we don't have that time," she said. "You really go toward where your kids' friends are, which is their school."
When Weeks bought her home she expected her kids to go to Myrtle Grove Middle School, but the map the school board adopted earlier this year would send the kids to Williston Middle School downtown.
"You plan your life hood around a neighborhood," Weeks said. "When you buy a home, you don't buy it for a year. You buy it for a lifetime, or at least a few years, and you're not buying the home just to buy a home. So it's for your family."
So this single mom is paying what amounts to a fortune for her to have her daughter go to Myrtle Grove Christian School, which is just a few feet away from public Myrtle Grove Middle.
Weeks also says the school board gave parents little notice about the new district lines. The new map was finalized in the beginning of summer giving parents very little time to adjust.