Forum discusses impact on Wake School Board policy changes
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RALEIGH–Dozens of community members, school, city and state leaders spent Saturday morning learning about the impact of well-balanced and diverse schools.
It's all part of Great Schools in Wake Coalition's Fall forum held at the McKimmon Center on the NC State University campus. Members have been concerned with the policy changes the school board makes and the impact it will have on communities.
On October 5, the Wake County school board voted to put a stop to the proposed zoning plan for neighborhood schools. A room full of residents listened to such information and more on Saturday. Many are concerned about a Board that is so divided.
“If we keep having 5-4 results we're not going to make decisions that are good for our children,” said Kevin Hill, a Wake County school board member.
During the forum, research showed that Wake County is 92nd out of 115 school systems in the state when it comes to the amount of funding they receive. It also showed that diversity in schools matters and well balanced schools are needed for a thriving community.
Panel members said the decision on student assignment can be detrimental, affecting everything from student achievement to property values.
“When you have high poverty school systems then all of a sudden people can't move out because people don't want to move in to a high poverty zone. That's what's happened time and time again in America,” said Tom Oxholm, former school board member.
Organizers said the goal of the forum to encourage Wake County families to learn what is going on in their schools and to be a part of the process.
School Board Chair Ron Margiotta, who is in favor of neighborhood schools, said the resolution that recently passed does away with the proposed zone plan. Currently, they are still working with the three year plan as part of the resolution, which includes busing for diversity.