Equity & Diversity

Lexington, Ky., District Backs Off From Massive Redistricting Plan

March 12, 1997 1 min read

The board of education in Fayette County, Ky., has voted unanimously to rethink a massive redistricting plan in the works for two years that was designed to diversify the public schools.

In an 11th-hour decision, board members said they were not convinced that a plan using magnet schools and redrawing school boundaries to help diversify the racial makeup of schools would work. The previous school board and school officials had developed the plan.

“Diversity is an ideal,” Valerie Summers, the board chairwoman, said at a Feb. 24 school board meeting. “If somebody can show me that diversity enhances student achievement, then I will move it up on my list.”

The enrollment of the 33,000-student district, which includes Lexington, is 75 percent white, 22 percent black, and 3 percent Asian and Hispanic.

The plan had called for two new elementary schools, at least 10 magnet school programs, and redrawn school boundaries to integrate schools divided down the same racial lines as many Lexington-area neighborhoods and to ease crowding at several schools.

Although the board, which has one black member, decided to open the new schools and go ahead with the magnet programs, most of the boundaries will remain as they are.

The debate upset some parents, who saw it as a step away from integration.

“The board is saying things that question the importance and dedication to diversity,” said Jacques Wigginton, a black parent who helped draw up the redistricting plan as part of an equity task force. “It’s like we’ve shifted back 20 or 30 years.”

Superintendent Peter Flynn said that over the past 25 years redistricting plans have “always been a difficult issue and always result in mixed reactions from parents.”

--KERRY A. WHITE

Related Tags:

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Opinion Are Our Schools Any Closer to Equity?
Schools are trying to focus on equity, but a slew of new legislation is preventing that focus from becoming a reality.
Sean Slade & Alyssa Gallagher
4 min read
E20D8BC6 ED5F 43B7 817C 5FA00DCA5904
Shutterstock
Equity & Diversity Spotlight Spotlight on Critical Race Theory
In this Spotlight, learn what critical race theory is, what it isn't, and how it's a practice, not a curriculum.
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion I Am an Indian American Man. I Had Anti-Racist Work to Do
When adults reflect on who they are and where they come from, their awareness leads to better learning outcomes for their students.
Anil Hurkadli
5 min read
Abstract drawing of the profile of a head, clouds of thoughts and radiance from the eyes.
Elena Medvedeva/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Equity & Diversity American Indian Mascots Will Soon Be Banned in Colorado Public Schools
Colorado would become the fifth state to get rid of derogatory mascots.
Saja Hindi, The Denver Post
2 min read
Students walk into Loveland High School, past a sign at the entrance bearing the image of the school mascot, a Native American, in Loveland, Colo. on Sept. 11, 2014.
Students walk into Loveland High School, past a sign at the entrance bearing the image of the school mascot, a Native American, in Loveland, Colo.
Brennan Linsley/AP