Local News

Group Reaffirms Lawsuit Threat Over Racial Imbalance In Goldsboro Schools

Posted May 18, 2004

— On the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education -- a Supreme Court decision to end segregation in America's schools -- the issue is still of concern in Wayne County.

Monday night, a group called Concerned Clergy and the NAACP reaffirmed a threat to sue the Wayne County School Board if it does not racially balance the schools.

The groups said the Office of Civil Rights in Atlanta is moving forward with its investigation into the situation in Goldsboro.

Much of the community's criticism is focused on a proposed $80 million budget, of which less than $6 million is earmarked for Goldsboro city schools, which are nearly 100 percent minority.

School officials say the reason city schools are getting such a small piece of the proposed budget is because under federal law, that money can only go towards school construction. They say when it comes to that, city schools have what they need.

When it comes to curriculum and financing staff, city schools are getting more money than county schools.

The race issue, school officials say, goes well beyond the schools, because more people are moving out of the city.

"It's really been a migration through the years. So it's not really anything that was done specifically to create segregation -- it just happened over time," said Stan Alleyne, Wayne County Schools spokesman.

Joe Hackett, who is running for a seat on the Wayne County School Board, scoffs at a recent survey asking parents for a "yes" or "no" answer to whether they would consider moving their kids back to city schools if the classrooms were racially balanced.

So far, the majority of those surveyed said they would not.

"We're not addressing if it's something wrong with the buildings, the teaching staff -- there is a lot of issues that could be attributing to this," Hackett said. "The survey was very poorly made."

The surveys are still being collected. The school district says it will go with what the majority of parents in Wayne County want.

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