CALLIOPE mum Rebecca Taylor had hoped her youngest son would have the chance to attend high school in his home town.
But the government's decision this week to proceed with the sale of land set aside for a secondary school has shattered the hope of many residents.
A 5.6 hectares site has sat unused for many years for future development of a high school.
Rebecca said selling the land was a waste and disheartening.
Her youngest son Matthew is currently in Year 3 at Calliope State School, and older siblings Grace and Jack catch the bus to Gladstone State High.
"I was hoping there'd be a school for Matthew when he's in Year 7," Rebecca said.
"This area could really use a high school."
Rebecca said the need for a high school was clear.
"Our state school is bursting to the brim," she said.
"The area's seen such growth and it's only going to get bigger; look at all the development around."
Rebecca said commuting was a big commitment for parents, especially if children took part in extra activities outside of school hours.
"If they have training before school, or something after, it makes it a really long day," she said.
"The high schools in town are also very full."
Rebecca said the younger student also felt the effects of the high schoolers having to commute.
"A friend of mine who lives out from Calliope has to leave to put the kids on the bus at 6.30am," she said.
"The bus has to get into Calliope early enough to get the high school kids into Gladstone."
"It means these little kids are up before 6.30am and only getting home at 5pm."