If you loved the student reassignment mess that occurred several years ago in Wake County Schools, you’re in for a treat. And if you realized it is flawed policy to hope that low-income kids will somehow soak up more knowledge by sitting next to a kid from a higher-income household, you’re in for another headache.
U.S. Department of Agriculture attorneys say Wake can use data on students who receive subsidized lunches to balance schools by family income as long as the process doesn’t result in the identification of individual students.
A letter this past May from the federal education department’s Office for Civil Rights, obtained this week through an open-records request, lays out parameters for Wake’s use of the information, which the Agriculture Department had ruled off limits in 2011. Family income determines eligibility for subsidized lunches.
The news could re-ignite a fierce debate over busing students to achieve diversity goals, which opponents cited to help vote in a Republican-controlled board in 2009.
Elections have consequences. As JLF’s Terry Stoops put it in the story:
But for critics, the news signifies a return to the old days of Wake’s busing some students long distances to achieve socioeconomic diversity.
“Here we go again,” said Terry Stoops, director of education studies for the conservative John Locke Foundation.