Board to revisit southeast Raleigh moves

December 13, 2010 8:34:16 PM PST
Thousands of Wake County families will be closely watching the school board Tuesday as members hammer out changes to next year's school assignments.ABC11 Eyewitness News has learned some of the controversial southeast Raleigh moves could be back on the table despite a vote last week.

The school board chair tells ABC11 that last week's thumbs up vote that took the controversial moves off the table was meaningless.

He says the southeast Raleigh moves and others will likely be brought up when the board holds a work session meeting Tuesday.

In the meantime, parents are weighing in on the controversy.

Parent Jeanette Manley says she feels lucky her daughter was assigned to a school across the street from their southeast Raleigh home, because it's one they both feel suits her needs.

"I love the AG classes," 5th grader Jada Manley said.

"They have the best AG courses there," Jeanette Manley said. "She's in accelerated gifted, which is great."

Manley says if it didn't, she'd rather her daughter go the distance.

"For me, it's the quality," Jeanette Manley said. "You can't ever replace quality. It doesn't matter if she has to go 10 or 15 miles away as long as she's getting the best quality of education, that's the best."

And that's where the school board is torn. The Republican led majority has made proximity the priority as they move towards community schools.

For years, parents have been fighting reassignment to schools far from home under the former diversity policy.

Democratic members still support that policy. Doing away with it has many believing it will create segregated schools.

A federal investigation is underway after the NAACP filed a complaint alleging that the board is violating students' civil rights.

Parent Jackie Lee says she feels diversity is important.

"It is important for us to be diverse because many, many black students and white students died so that we could all go to school together that's really important," Lee said.

But she says she fought the idea of her daughter going to school in Cary when they live in southeast Raleigh.

She like, many parents, are torn as they weigh diversity versus proximity.

"All the neighborhoods are not equal, so I don't believe in just going to their neighborhood school," Lee said.

Reassignment goes beyond diversity. Some neighborhoods like Carpenter Village in Morrisville have been waiting a year or more just to get their kids into a reasonably close middle school, which is something the board says it will also work on.

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