Education

N.C. Democrats speak out against Wake community schools

Posted April 2, 2010

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— Millions of dollars in federal aid could be sucked out of Wake County schools if the board of education moves ahead with its plan to change its diversity policy, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman David Young said Thursday.

The party is launching a volunteer pledge bank to get the word out against community-based system of student assignment.

The Board of Education voted on March 23 to work toward the new system. Board members said it could take up to 15 months to work out the details of the plan.

The decade-old assignment method currently in place buses students across the district to help achieve socio-economic diversity, allowing no school more than 40 percent of students receiving free- or reduced-price lunches.

The debate over student assignment has heightened racial tensions between the board and the NAACP, which has accused the board of trying to re-segregate schools.

Wake County schools Superintendent Del Burns announced in February that he will resign, effective June 30. The decision came after comments in which he accused some board members of "political partisan gamesmanship" when it comes to educating students.

The Wake County Republican Party last fall donated to the campaigns of four new board members who ran on a platform that included ending the district's diversity policy of busing students in favor of community-based schools.

Young also encouraged people to attend one of two community forums sponsored by Great Schools in Wake Coalition on April 15 at the W.E.B. Dubois Community Center, 150-A White St. in Wake Forest, and April 22 at the Temple Beth Or, 5315 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. Both events start at 7 p.m.

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  • rbh330 Apr 5, 2010

    I don't see this as a Democrat vs. Republican thing. It's unfortunate that some have made it so. Why can't we give the Board some space to do their jobs to work out plans that will benefit all of the County? Then if those plans need to be amended, then do that. Stop the grandstanding.

  • jet2rdu Apr 2, 2010

    All the while I thought that the Democrats were all for for reducing greenhouse emissions, carbon footprints, dependence of foreign supplies of oil and getting more fossil fuel vehicles off the roads. Listening to the discussions here from the Democrats at least in Wake County, I guess I was wrong.

    Wouldn't less busing do that and reduce the county fuel budget, and give bus maintenance and replacement budget savings in these tough budget times?

  • 5Rs Apr 2, 2010

    There is a federally funded Magnet Schools Assistance program that has a specific Eligibility Requirements that require the recipient schools have a policy in place "that requires the desegregation of minority-group-segregated children or faculty in the elementary schools and secondary schools of such agency".

    Must be right. The Government knows best. Trust them.

  • downsouthtyler Apr 2, 2010

    in 2001 i went to Fuquay Varina High School. I lived in Apex, 13 miles away. We had to wait for the bus as early as 6AM. This did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve my education.

    There is no way any person can justify the above. The old policy is as primative as if we were still banging nuts with rocks.

  • cheapseats Apr 2, 2010

    I didn't used to feel this way but I do now. If the democrats are against it, then it is probably the right thing to do.

  • Eightball Apr 2, 2010

    It is much better to send them to the other side of the county or city. Really? .....Memonster, when I was a kid (Fayetteville) I lived in the same house till I was 18, the school district lines changed constantly. I went to three diff. elementary schools, a jr. high all the way across town in the town of Spring Lake, when there was another jr. high 4 miles away, and a high school that had not been completely constructed, so we were forced to attend in shifts. All in the name of 'diversity'...

  • injameswetrust2003 Apr 2, 2010

    Those detractors of community schools can whine all they want to - it's a done deal. If Kevin Hill, Ms. Morrison, Mr. Sutton, and Dr. Meeker don't like it, too bad.

  • caneFan Apr 2, 2010

    Baseball Nut - I think the high growth is causing alot of the
    reassignments, and that won't go away - The school board has
    had trouble keeping up with the growth, and have attempted to keep the schools diverse while having to reassign for growth.
    It is not easy to keep the diversity across the county 40% when
    the high growth is occuring in concentrated areas. The high growth is not occurring in the eastern part of the county, where
    the F&R is higher. Its not an easy job, as the new board is
    starting to find out. Their mistake is thinking that they can make promises to individual groups and thinking it will please everybody. "You can't always get what you want, but you'll find some time that you get what you need". They have opened a can of worms.

  • Baseball Nut Apr 2, 2010

    The reason I voted for the new board was not to re-segregate schools but to hopefully gain some stability. With the current busing policy, kids are being reassigned to a different school every year or every other year and that's what I can't stand. Also, the way I see it, the busing policy isn't working to give socio-economic diversity. If so, why are most of the schools in the eastern part of the county 45 to 65 percent free and reduced.

  • caneFan Apr 2, 2010

    @BigUNCFan - There is a federally funded Magnet Schools Assistance program that provides multi-million dollar grants for magnet schools. This program has a specific Eligibility Requirements that require the recipient schools have a policy in place that requires "that requires the desegregation of minority-group-segregated children or faculty in the elementary schools and secondary schools of such agency". The last award received by WCPSS was $8.3 million to be used at SERHS, Garner
    HS and East Garner MS. This grant money is used to help build
    and support the magnet programs in WCPSS. You can read all about this federal program at
    http://www2.ed.gov/programs/magnet/index.html
    Greensboro has magnet schools, but most of them are not funded by this grant (magnet by name only).

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