You can add Communities in Schools to the groups now taking shots at the diversity policy with the new school board members set to take office.
Neither the state nor local chapters of the group had publicly complained about the diversity policy before even though many of the students they help are among those directly impacted. But relations have frayed between CIS and Wake, as shown in today's op-ed column by Mike Stephens, chief operating officer of Communities In Schools of North Carolina.
"Busing our students is not the only way - or necessarily the best way - to make sure North Carolina is achieving equality in its public schools," Stephens writes. "We do not have to look farther than the Wake County school system to understand this."
Stephens goes on to to cite Wake's graduation rate for black and Hispanic students. He notes how it's lower than the rates for Guilford County schools, which works with CIS.
Stephens notes how Wake cut funding for the 13 CIS site coordinators this school year. This change saved Wake $472,466. School officials justified the cut by saying that those 13 schools could be just like the other schools who ask a staffer to coordinate the tutor-mentors in addition to his/her other duties.
Stephens urged the new board to restore the positions.
"Consequently, it really becomes a matter of choice for the Wake County school board and the county commissioners," Stephens writes. "If the idea is to stop funding policies and programs that don't work - and one can only assume that is why busing may be on the chopping block - then take freed-up revenue or create additional revenue and pay for what does. All of Wake County's students deserve nothing less."