Local News

Wake student assignment policy hot topic at public forum

Posted February 11, 2010
Updated February 24, 2010

— A public forum at Southeast Raleigh High School on Thursday was held to discuss Wake County year-round schools, but most comments centered on the county’s student assignment policy.

The school district assigns students so that no school has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Students are reassigned each year to maintain that level, as well as to fill new schools and relieve overcrowding.

At least five of the school board's nine members have indicated that they plan to end the practice, which can involve busing students to schools farther from their homes, in favor of neighborhood schools.

Wake County Public School System Wake student assignment remains hot topic

Board members who support the policy say changing the current plan in favor of neighborhood schools would disrupt diversity at schools.

School board member Keith Sutton requested Thursday night’s meeting after seeing a low participation of certain groups on a survey of year-round schools.

“There were many economically disadvantaged families that did not participate in the survey,” Sutton said.

While year-round schools were discussed, the fewer than 20 people who spoke mainly addressed the assignment policy.

“We have to realize racism still exists in Wake County,” said Amy Womble, who would like to see the program stay.

Some people, including Joey Stansbury, would rather see the policy go.

“We have no data the diversity policy works,” he said.

Wake County Board of Education committee has been holding meetings to discuss the assignment policy. They plan to make a recommendation to full board.

Other public forums on year-round schools are:

  • Thursday, Feb. 18 at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Leesville Road High School, 8409 Leesville Road, Raleigh
  • Thursday, Feb. 25 at Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary

Each meeting runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the schools' auditoriums.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 12, 2010

    The problem is that liberals, leftists, democrats, socialists, marxists, etc... think they can rebuild the world as they view it in their utopian view of the world.

    Unfortunately, people find a way to get around and undo what the utopians want to do to society.

    Wake County Schools is a classic example of how social engineering fails 100% of the time that it's implemented.

  • localyank Feb 12, 2010

    wantingmore4us - I have no doubt, from what I understand that would have been not too long after the Raleigh/Wake schools were de-segregated. I don't think that the forced busing that is the issue now happened continuously for all of that time (correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to me to be the more recent actions of the old school board, again made worse by the growth, that has created the current environment.

  • Remy Feb 12, 2010

    localyank, this bussing stuff happened way before 16 years ago, I was bussed starting in 1977.

  • localyank Feb 12, 2010

    ....and to people complaining that the magnets get extra funding that should be spread evenly - Tedesco's plan is to give extra money to the inner city schools after they are de-magnetized anyway. See the golo responses to the grant for minority kids that Durham just got (and that grant was from a not-for-profit entity, not direct tax money), and you'll see how well that will go over. We'll wind up with money sinks that nobody will want to support, and another big mess.

  • localyank Feb 12, 2010

    I've lived in this school district for 16 years, and have seen it evolve over that time. For most of that time the magnet program handed the diversity issue well. It wasn't forced busing, it provided incentives for moving academically involved kids (and their parents) to the potentially worst schools, created a safe environment so that kids from those neighborhoods who wanted to learn could learn, and the teachers were not afraid (or too overwhelmed/burned out) to discipline the kids who were trouble. The problem was that in recent years the school board decided that wasn't enough and started this force busing business. Add to that the growth and associated redistricting, and you get the current mess. BTW - this was a problem initially (~12 years ago) mostly in Cary, where parents bought houses for Cary schools and were sent to Fuquay.
    Go back to the system 10 years ago, handle diversity with magnet schools, and leave the rest neighborhood schools.

  • RMC10 Feb 12, 2010

    What if I told you this incident - an AA boy in my child's health class in Middle School - having been bussed to the rich school - tells her he hates white folks, hates having to come to this school, asks her if she calls folks the N* word (she asked me what that meant, BTW - not a word in our house.) Then proceeds to say a couple of inappropriate things to her and tells her his cousin got busted at this school for bringing in some weed. Now to see this kind of thinkin going on is where if forced bussed students hate the school they are being bussed to and hate the folks - don't make them come - they're not going to enjoy their experience, and my 11 yo doesn't need a mj supplier moment yet! Ya can move kids around, but you can't make them someone else just by sitting in a good seat. The folks being bussed need to give their consent - this is where WCPSS diversity policy falls short. Not one student should be forced into a school they don't want to go to so F&R % match a chart.

  • WSmama Feb 12, 2010

    If parents are concerned about exposing their children to diversity, then they (the parents) should be the ones leading by example to their children by moving out of their single-race neighborhood into a mixed race or opposite race neighborhood. Why are we expecting the public school system to be the primary teachers of diversity to our children. If parents are that concerned, start living it our in your daily lives. Perhaps this type of diversity education would spill over to those not in school (adults, teen drop-outs, etc.) who need the education, too.

  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 12, 2010

    Must not be too hot of a topic, we've even quit talking about it on golo (based on the number of responses so far)

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Feb 12, 2010

    I guess Rev. Barber missed his chance to charter a bus and bring a bunch of concerned parents to the meeting to speak.

  • HanginTough Feb 12, 2010

    How is it that racism is sooooo bad when it some out of a white person's mouth yet blacks, the NEA, any and every public school can use it to throw good money after bad to bus white kids all over a county when A) money is not the answer and B) supposedly the state of NC is in a budget crisis...