Voters in Wake County, N.C., have demanded change on the local school board in an election largely seen as a referendum on the county’s model diversity policy that frequently mixes poorer students with those in affluent suburbs.
Three candidates running campaigns to change the diversity system won seats on the Wake County board. A fourth member of that coalition may enter a runoff that will determine whether the group has an outright majority to require more focus on what it deems “neighborhood” education.
Wake County’s diversity policy is based on socioeconomics, with officials assigning and busing students to schools so that no campus has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. That policy naturally expands racial diversity as well, often mixing black students from the city’s impoverished southeast with white students in the more-affluent suburbs.
A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 2009 edition of Education Week as Wake County, N.C., Voters Back Change in Diversity-Assignment Plan