My proposal would be based on distance from the school. Rezone with a 10 mile diameter (or other appropriate number). If you fall in one circle then that is the school you attend. If you fall within more than one circle you get to participate in open enrollment based on available slots in the school of choice. If you are in no circle you can participate in open enrollment county wide but with transportation provided only to the nearest circular zone.
What of socio-economic fairness? It will work out naturally. What of population densities? I don’t have data on that but dollars to donuts, it too will pan out. I am not suggesting that this be the plan. I suggest this type of basis to begin a plan would make better sense than what Mullins is proposing.
Update: Brian Hornback points out that some of the circles stretch outside of Knox County. He’s right that I never intended to imply that other counties would come into the Knox County system. I see I also completely overlooked Central.
Update: What of natural barriers like rivers? I suppose that if you had to bus through a school zone that you were not zoned for in order to circumvent that natural barrier, then you would also be considered for that other school zone (for instance, West on the South Doyle side of the river).