Wake County Schools

Wake schools didn't keep busing for diversity records

Posted March 9, 2011
Updated March 10, 2011

— School district leaders in Wake County are turning over hundreds of documents to federal investigators in response to a charge that a controversial new student assignment policy will create unequal, high-poverty schools, but some requested data was missing.

The Office for Civil Rights asked the school board to submit data showing how many students were assigned to balance diversity in the 2007 and 2008 school years, but school leaders admitted they never kept records of their busing program.

School board attorney Ann Majestic said in a response to the document request filed March 3 that the data simply isn't available.

"WCPSS does not record board approval or rejection of individual node assignments based on whether they were approved for SES-diversity purposes," Majestic said.

School board member John Tedesco said the lack of data on why students were bused may make it difficult to determine how well the diversity policy worked.

Wake turns over data to OCR, but not busing records Wake turns over data to OCR, but not busing records

Wake's SES, or socioeconomic status, diversity policy used free and reduced lunch school data as an indicator to balance student diversity in schools.

But e-mail and letter exchanges recently obtained by WRAL News between school leaders and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in 2009 suggest that using free and reduced school lunch data to assign students is unlawful. 

"Providing the requested information to OCR may violate federal law," Majestic wrote in her response to the document request. 

The federal investigation into the board's assignment policy was prompted by a complaint from the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who maintain that scrapping the decade-old diversity policy will concentrate poor students into schools in poor communities.

OCR investigators are expected to meet with board members in Raleigh April 6 and 7.

75 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Nancy Mar 11, 9:21 a.m.

    It won't be easy, but a count CAN be done, year by year with looking back at the records of the # of students moved from School A to School B, then the number of students moved from School B to School C. Many times those numbers were within single digits of each other. Obviously NOT related to capacity issues.

    Annually you could see that happening throughout the WCPSS, those numbers = diversity shifting reassignments.

    But to not have kept records beyond that is pathetic and dispels the claims made over the years that the system of busing for diversity worked. The failure rates and drop out rates dispute the claims made.

  • The Fox Mar 10, 6:51 p.m.

    It all begs the question then of what is the real motive of all this busing? I mean, if diversity really is the reason then one keeps records supporting that project. No, something is amiss.

  • RM24 Mar 10, 6:18 p.m.

    Do they give out peanuts and popcorn and these board meetings? It just would not seem like the circus if they didnt.

  • wadeherrell2 Mar 10, 4:55 p.m.

    I can't wait to vote out the school board.

  • ncsuecu Mar 10, 4:39 p.m.

    Didn't need to keep busing records..Just look at students enrolled in each school and the ones that do not live in that school's district are the ones there because of diversity!

  • bgreen Mar 10, 4:14 p.m.

    Am I missing something here?
    Seems like I remember sometime back that one of the Commissars of Diversity reponded to a request that the results of the 'diversity' strategy be studied and verified that no study was needed because 'we know it works.'

    Well, if you don't know what it was you did, how could you say what you did worked!

  • princessnise Mar 10, 3:37 p.m.

    There's a shock - they didn't keep records to support their policy. That's a great way not to have to prove whether your "diversity" plan (otherwise known as social engineering)is actually working.

  • HapiApiGirl Mar 10, 3:34 p.m.

    You know...the truth always wins! Just like NPR being revealed for what they truly stand for...I think the truth about how the old board ran this system is going to come to light...especially now that there is real leadership at the helm of Wake County Schools that seeks the truth!

  • Not_So_Dumb Mar 10, 3:30 p.m.

    "Guess who is getting moved out? Not the free/reduced lunch children. In fact they are going to get even more. Ridiculous."-cubed32696

    Why is it ridiculous? Why should we move F&R kids like they have some kind of disease? Why should a parent's ability to pay for school lunches even be part of the thought process in where a child will go to school?

  • cubed32696 Mar 10, 3:24 p.m.

    A friend who teaches in Eastern Wake County told me this weekend that school (elementary) is 70% free/reduced lunch. Next school year, nodes are being redrawn. Guess who is getting moved out? Not the free/reduced lunch children. In fact they are going to get even more. Ridiculous.

More...