Education

Wake student assignment policy passes first of two votes

Posted May 4, 2010

Wake County Public School System
Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Wake County Board of Education members voted in favor of controversial policies Tuesday having to do with student assignment and the public's conduct during meetings.

(Read more about Tuesday's school board meeting.)

The board voted 4-3 for a new policy that eliminates diversity in student populations as a goal for assigning students to school. It was the first of two required votes to shift from the decade-old policy of trying to not have more than 40 percent of any school population from poor families.

Wake schools move closer to community assignments

"We value using a parental-choice model to encourage (diversity) as opposed to a forced-busing model," school board member John Tedesco said.

The decision brought one shout of "bunch of bigots" from the small audience that had remained through a long closed-door session to see the vote.

School board member Anne McLaurin said that schools in low-income neighborhoods will miss out if other students go to school in their own neighborhoods.

"That creates schools that are economically disadvantaged, and that re-segregates our schools," McLaurin said.

In an earlier 4-3 vote, the board struck down a substitute policy proposed by board member Keith Sutton, which included diversity as a goal.

"I see no effort on the part of my colleagues to meet us halfway," Sutton said later, noting the new policy "doesn't protect all students."

Board Vice Chairwoman Debra Goldman, who voted for the community assignment model, said she supports diversity in schools.

"I also believe we don't have to manufacture it. I believe that it exists here in Wake County inherently," Goldman said.

The board voted unanimously on a second policy that says public speakers "should" not make personal attacks against board members or other speakers.

An earlier version of the policy had said speakers should be "required" to stick to comments about policies and board actions and avoid personal attacks.

Meetings in recent months have brought verbal attacks on some board members, and the list of speakers has been long since the board took up efforts to move the school system away from a goal of school diversity and toward community-based assignments.

"Virtually everything I've heard" in recent months at board meetings "would be protected" as free speech under the policy, attorney Ann Majestic told the board. She predicted the order would almost never be used.

During a committee meeting earlier Tuesday, Goldman said that, although criticizing board members' work was within bounds, attacks on their personal lives were not.

The goal, she said, is "to draw the line between actions of a board member as a board member and personal" attacks.

"For me, this is a tight-rope balance," said Tedesco, who has been a target for verbally attacks for his leading the effort to change the student assignment policy. "Let them say whatever they want about me ... than limit their right to free speech."

29 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • walences May 6, 2010

    Free at last, free at last. Great God almighty, we are free at last from bussing.

  • NoFreakinWay May 5, 2010

    wow, you obviously have no kids in school, and are clearly a drinker.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 5, 2010

    "I have a way to end all of this time and money that is being wasted about neighborhoods schools verses busing all over Gods creation. Why not let the voters of WAKE Co vote? It is very easy just put it on the ballot for the next Wake Co election. (The two choices would be either: Neighborhoods Schools or Busing for Economic Diversity) That way those of us that live and pay taxes in Wake Co can have the final say and all those folks that show up to these meetings wasting the board’s time and my tax money can go home and worry about their own school system. Then whatever the outcome is that is what the current board goes with and we can all move on with our lives and educate the kids of Wake Co. Also if you don’t go out and do your civic duty by voting then you will have no reason to complain if the outcome is not what you wanted. The last time I checked we do still live in a Democracy people. - julesfl9"

    The voters voted during the last election to end socio-ecnomic diversity busi

  • Remy May 5, 2010

    TTY - Good story, how long did it take you to make it up? Better start writing this stuff down because you contradict yourself from past statements which makes this untruth very evident.
    Either way, why do you find it necessary to critize other parents and make general statements? All we have to do is look at your screen name to know you are here for one reason...to start arguments. Everyone has a right to an opinion including you. But there is no need to bash other people who may have an opinion that differs from yours.

  • NoFreakinWay May 5, 2010

    Sorry you see it as mean spirited, but maybe this will help you understand. I am a mom. I have 4 kids in school. We have attended 4 different schools, so far, thanks to reassignment. We drive our children to and from school. We no longer rely on or use bus transportation after 2 incidents that the school system did nothing about. I personally don't believe politics has anything to do with the new board. If they fail to create the opportunities they say they will then they will be replaced. It was our choice to have a large family, but making it ridiculous to try and use public education shouldn't be so unbearable. Reassigning to balance diversity is not my problem and shouldn't be my kids problem. That is where the mean spirit you speak of comes from. How many times have your kids been reassigned? Since you seem to have a wealth of free time on your hands maybe you should try to understand that it's not mean spirits that drive many of us now, but parents who have had enough. Maybe it c

  • Remy May 5, 2010

    I would not want my mom to know if I was making such mean sprited comments either, such as your post earlier today about lazy parents. I would be happy to drive my children to school if that is what it took to get them to school. Many parents already do that whether there is bus service or not. Where do you even get this stuff? Must have plenty of time on your hands.

  • NoFreakinWay May 5, 2010

    I, nor my mom, have any idea what you are talking about, but enjoy yourself.

  • Remy May 5, 2010

    As for the rest of your post, aka?
    Noticed you did not deny. You are not fooling anyone.

  • NoFreakinWay May 5, 2010

    Mr. Hill didn't care to have a say, he's already had his say and yes, he knew his vote wouldn't count either way, but, as a representative of a district he should've been here to represent his constituents. regardless of whether he was getting his way or not.
    As for the rest of your post, aka? Been reading too many mystery novels in your spare time or watching too much Judge Judy maybe?

  • julesfl9 May 5, 2010

    I have a way to end all of this time and money that is being wasted about neighborhoods schools verses busing all over Gods creation. Why not let the voters of WAKE Co vote? It is very easy just put it on the ballot for the next Wake Co election. (The two choices would be either: Neighborhoods Schools or Busing for Economic Diversity) That way those of us that live and pay taxes in Wake Co can have the final say and all those folks that show up to these meetings wasting the board’s time and my tax money can go home and worry about their own school system. Then whatever the outcome is that is what the current board goes with and we can all move on with our lives and educate the kids of Wake Co. Also if you don’t go out and do your civic duty by voting then you will have no reason to complain if the outcome is not what you wanted. The last time I checked we do still live in a Democracy people.

More...