Fight over Wake schools not over

March 24, 2010 8:48:59 PM PDT
In Wake County the vote for community schools may be over, but the fight is not.All the protestors and critics of the board majority say switching to community schools will lead to segregation. But the governor tells ABC11 Eyewitness News she will make sure that doesn't happen.

"I'm speaking as a mother and a grandmother," Governor Bev Perdue said. "I really do believe that kids do better in a situation that prepares them for real life and real life has children who are from all kinds of economic levels."

Governor Perdue supports diversity in schools, but also says she's against bussing.

Meanwhile, supporters of the new board majority say the old policy wasn't working.

"The graduation rate has constantly been sliding," said Kathleen Brennan with Wake Cares. "We're down to 54 percent. At what point is this going to be admitted that it's not a success?"

"Once I think they understand that I don't believe this board is moving in the direction of re-segregation, which is just ludicrous," added Patrice Lee with Wake Cares. "I think they'll see that there's real value in looking at some innovative ways of trying to reach the economically disadvantaged students."

But critics feel a move to community schools will lead to re-segregation and high poverty schools.

Governor Perdue she'll make sure that doesn't happen to students on her watch.

"That's why we took over Halifax system, we'll continue to take over systems," Perdue said. "We're committed to make sure that every kid has an equal education in North Carolina."

The new board and its supporters say they want to work with their critics on the community schools plan.

That's one of the reasons why it may take 9-15 months to figure out and present to the public before anything is final.

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