Local News

Racial Imbalance At Goldsboro School Problematic For Some Leaders

Posted May 10, 2006

— Concerns about racial imbalance have plagued one local high school for years, and some argue local leaders still aren't doing enough to solve the problems. Now, one group says that should be the school board's top priority.

The Wayne County Board of Education met Tuesday to discuss new school construction and improvement needs. They're working to prioritize projects for the next five years, as part of a 20-year plan.

"We've got a tremendous amount of growth in the northern end of our county," said board member Rick Pridgen. "We've got a couple of schools targeted in that particular area."

The list includes proposals to build at least four new schools in the next five years. Critics argue the board has a bigger problem to deal with first.

Nearly every student at Goldsboro High School is African American. Parents have been moving kids out of the inner-city schools for years, causing what many call resegregation.

The NAACP filed a Civil Rights complaint two years ago, but little has changed. A superior court judge recently listed Goldsboro High School as one of 19 in the state that needs to improve test scores or shut down.

State NAACP President, the Rev. Dr. William Barber, says the Board of Education needs to address those problems first. By phone on Tuesday, he said, "We want the best school facilities for all children, but we can't have low-performing schools and resegregation and keep building on top of those problems."

The board admits it is not a quick fix, but its already discussed possibly adding special art and science classes to help.

"Hopefully, what we can do is put programs in there that would entice people to want to come in there," said Pridgen.

School leaders say test scores are improving steadily too. The NAACP argues neither plan is happening quickly enough.


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