Education

Wake group to hold vigil on school diversity issue

Posted March 17, 2010 4:07 p.m. EDT
Updated March 17, 2010 6:44 p.m. EDT

— A group opposed to the Wake County Board of Education's plans to end the school system's decade-old diversity policy has planned a candlelight vigil in protest.

The Little Light of Mine Candlelight Vigil for Diversity in Our Schools is scheduled for next Monday at 7 p.m. at Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 E. Martin St., Raleigh.

"We do not want to see our community divided into groups of differing social and economic classes, races and cultures, languages or faiths," a flier distributed Wednesday by the Wake County Clergy Association said.

The school board voted 5-4 this month in favor of a resolution to begin plans to move away from the school system's policy of busing students to help ensure each school is socioeconomically diverse. Board members want to implement a community-based assignment plan, in which students go to schools closer to their homes.

A final vote on the resolution is expected at the school board's meeting next Tuesday.

Critics argue, in part, that it will segregate poor students and keep them from receiving the same quality of education as more economically advantaged students.

School board members, however, have insisted that they have no plans to segregate students and that student achievement is their top priority.