The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Funding high-poverty schools

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If push comes to shove, would you guys really be willing to pump more money into high-poverty schools in lieu of busing?

As noted in today's article, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's efforts to pump more money into high-poverty schools is being challenged by the weakening economy. When CMS abandoned race-based busing, it made a commitment to provide more money for those schools who would now suddenly be filled with low-income kids.

But funding for some programs at high-poverty schools would be reduced as part of a list of $53.3 million in possible spending cuts proposed by Peter Gorman, superintendent of CMS schools.

Leonard “Deacon” Jones, president of the Swann Fellowship, which opposed ending Charlotte’s busing program, said the potential cuts show the dangers of thinking that additional money could make up for resegregating the schools.

“My fear is that some people feel it’s cheaper to build jails than to provide the schools what they need,” Jones said in the article.

Issues like this would likely crop up if Wake abandoned its diversity efforts, unless you're willing to abandon the high-poverty schools that would spring up.

Some of you guys are probably saying Wake could avoid some of these problems by taking money from the transportation program. But keep in mind that most of the transportation budget is state funded.

Wake school leaders have argued that due to lack of local funding they need to use student assignment to help keep schools academically healthy.


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slightly OT

Town Hall Meetings

Durham, February 16th
Durham Main Library
300 N. Roxboro Street (map)
7-8:30 pm

Cary, February 17th
Cary Town Hall Council Chambers
316 N. Academy Street (map)
7-8:30 pm

Chapel Hill, February 19th
Southern Human Services Center
2501 Homestead Road (map)
7-8:30 pm

Dear Friend:

I would like to invite you to a Town Hall Meeting during the week of February 16th. These meetings will give us an opportunity to discuss the issues that matter most to you and others in the community.

I hope you will join me for the meeting that's most convenient for you so that we can talk together as we face economic challenges unseen since the Great Depression. Even in the Triangle, we are not immune to the staggering job losses, credit freezes, and increased foreclosures that have rocked North Carolina and the nation as a whole. And there are additional concerns affecting our families: transportation, the environment, education, health care, and international affairs among others. I'll share an overview of what's going on in the Congress and then open the meeting to your questions.

As your representative, I depend on you and the people of the Fourth District for input when making decisions on these and other issues before Congress. I hope you will consider joining me for this Town Hall Meeting so that we can talk in person about your concerns.

If you require special accommodations, please contact my office at (919) 859-5999.

I look forward to seeing you soon. As always, thank you for keeping in touch.


Congressman David Price

And so...

So, my answer is yes, although I dislike the phrase "Pump Money." My willingness to pay more in taxes would depend on *how* the money is spent.

But, of course some of that additional money would be reduced in a financial crisis. Presumably every place else in the school district is taking a hit -- why should that additional funding be any different?


The oil companies did not yank the prices down, and especially not b/c of a new Dem president. The price of oil was affected by rampant speculation in the commodities market. Prices will go up again.

People will say anything to

People will say anything to get these kids out of their schools and the funding will dry up afterwards. Given that we could take the bright kids, give them independent study and a taped TV lecture and they would do fine on the EOGs and move the teachers to kids that need them would cause a riot but accomplish the goal of getting every segment across the line. People feel they are entitled to more since they worked hard for it and are not too willing to give it up for people they see as stupid, poor, inferior and disadvantaged. The arguments on the blog come down to “it is all about me, my needs, my child, my money”. Sense of community outside their cloistered community is absent. As a result, the first budget cut will fall on the least politically connected communities and segments. That is the American way for many here.

Me, my and mine

For ME it is not about MY kids. My kids are bright, they have parents who place importance on learning, and they have stability in their personal lives. You could give them independent study and a taped TV lecture and they would do fine on the EOGs. If it were just about MY kids, I would not spend my time advocating for change. Although for some people it is about themselves, I believe there are a lot people where the desire for change is not about themselves. Rather, when their kid was impacted by the assignment policies, they started following the trail and saw just how twisted the process has become. Should the opening of one new seat due to "growth" result in moving a string of at least six kids at six different schools - some NED, some ED and some ED/LEP?

As someone who counted ED kids among MY friends, I do care about ED kids. I want change because the ED kids in MY county do not seem to be doing fine or making progress, in fact they appear to be losing ground relative to other areas.  It seems to be time that we as a community start figuring out other alternatives than just focusing on "healthy schools". "Healthy schools" does not work when consideration of "healthy STUDENTS" is overlooked in the process. 

If you and supportwcpss have answers to how ED kids are supposed to close the gap when they are shuffled from school to school to make "healthy and balanced schools" or why some should get to go to magnets, while others are bussed out to 35% LI non-magnets, I'm all ears (or eyes as the case may be). I am fine with having ED students at MY school. My school would be 28-30% LI as a neighborhood school. I would just like to see the same ED group stay so that maybe THEY could make some long-term progress.

“My school would be

“My school would be 28-30% LI as a neighborhood school. I would just like to see the same ED group stay so that maybe THEY could make some long-term progress.” . .


Falc - I know you know what you are talking about as does vsheehan who live in mixed income areas and you are not afraid of LIs and want to find creative solutions to improve their progress.  No one wants stupid reassignments where kids get so shuffled around so that it does not make sense.  And there are enough LI to go around locally that every school could absorb a few without batting an eye.  Some blame their reassignment pain on LIs who are not present to defend themselves while I prefer to blame uncontrolled growth by the hero Mayors and other business interests.  A system where newbies get a new school, claim ownership and push everyone else east.


Like I said elsewhere, looking at the LI pass rate in all the surrounding counties, no one has the answer.  The number is 30% passing across the board.  The anti-diversity group jumps on that and say “see that is why they should not be in my school because it would not help them”.  I prefer, “ OMG, these are the kids we send to be soldier when rich kids go to college, the ones that become fireman, policemen and we need them to be more”.  There has to be a lot of smart people in the surrounding 10 counties who would have found the answer if it was easy.   I know some say that if you keep them out of my school, I will pay more for some special program or more teachers which will be quickly forgotten as soon as budget cuts come and the same folks will say we all need to share equally in the pain now.


So, I don’t know what the answer is to LI achievement but I know it is not warehousing them in ghettos so we can pretend they don’t exist.  I know that going to a system where we have three great schools for the privileged and ten underperforming schools where we warehouse LIs is not what I want either.


When I was in school they warehoused the special ed kids in their own special school so “normal” kids would not have to see them slur and drool.  It was said the SE kids could get the special care they needed away from us.   Now, I see all kinds of special ed kids in my kids schools and they are accepted and do quite well.   I am proud that the kids at my schools have integrated these kids in to normal school life.   I hope one day we can do the same with LI kids.

Calumnibot strikes again

It's a beautiful day and I'm reading this guy's posts. That's said. Oh well... anyhow; "The arguments on the blog come down to “it is all about me, my needs, my child, my money”."

This statement is true only if you can't read. I'll let those who can read to decide for themselves. Another weak try, calumnibot.

I'm crying already!!

I'm crying already!!

Hmm let me remember are you

Hmm let me remember are you not the person who is trying to bus these kids out of YOUR school.

If you want to dump all the

If you want to dump all the high needs kids in my school than yes you can share.  Bring on my fair share.  We are not afraid of people who don't look like us.

yup thats right were all

yup thats right were all just a bunch a racist or not black enough yup thats what this is all about .

Why do you think everything

Why do you think everything is about race?  People "not like you" can be poor, rich, Asian, Democrats.  I do think some people here are cloistered and isolated from the diverse society we live in though.  Your posts make it sound like you are not one of them.

Exegesis of a Calumnibot post

Calumnibot wrote: “who don't look like us”

vsheenan calls him on his (i.e., not her) race-bating,

to which he replies “Why do you think everything is about race?”

vsheenan can take care of herself but there's it is: the definition of look either magically expands into some meaning not used by English speakers, or, more likely, deceit achieved within an hour. A new land record by calumnibot.

Flay the rhetorical corpse as you wish, dear readers.

CM failing

And CM's efforts to pump money into those schools is failing.

 CMS is Failing? I think I

 CMS is Failing? I think I need to reread the definition of failing. It would seem to me that if CMS is closing the gap between their scores and Wakes even though CMS has more at risk students one would define that as a successes.  

I would say measure their

I would say measure their success by how many people here vote with their feet and move from here to there.   The higher their success then the greater the movement of people we should see migrating to Charlotte from Wake.


CMS could be the #1 district in the country, but if you can't find a job in Charlotte, you're not going to move there.  There are far more factors involved in deciding to move than the school district's assignment policies.

People in Wake County are

People in Wake County are already voting with their feet.  18% of students are in private or home schools -- roughly double the national average.


How does that compare with other high income locations.  Higher income areas will always lead to more private schools.  That is human nature.  I have already looked up two comparable areas that have higher private school percentages then Wake.  Don't single out Wake as some unique beast.

Not true, Seattle has no

Not true, Seattle has no private schools with in the city limits. Seattle has their public schools excelling to the point that they work better then private. Fairfax VA has private schools but less then 10% go private because the public schools are that good even the high F&R schools.


I just found a dozen private schools on one google search.

Seattle schools boast a total student population of 102,524 attending
224 schools in 8 public school districts and 120 private schools 

Also look at what they are funding per student. 

Mine sharing those sources of private school performance.

You are right. The

You are right. The information I had was from a couple of Education articles on the small schools in large schools program.   Sorry for the incorrect info

Aww crap anouther kid shot , front of a community center in Raleigh. The poor kid's parents.

Good ... the more money for

Good ... the more money for the rest of us. 


btw, I thought you would be on your way to India or China by now since you thought they were great last week.

Thats why DC is copying CMS

Thats why DC is copying CMS because they suck.

CMS Schools Make Noticeable Progress Relative to WCPSS

The facts are now clear - ED student performance is improving in CMS through neighborhood schools as it declines in WCPSS as a result of income-based busing. Read the facts in our Open Letter to the Wake BOE.

E.Blau, B.Lynch, R.Margiotta, K.Misegades and K.Weatherly


A real solution

Absolutely. Use the dollars where they are most needed so that we can try to really SOLVE this problem for children. Today's article, which I'm still digesting, revealed that neither CMS or Wake are solving the problems for the challenged students as INDIVIDUALS. I thought that Goettee's statement about 'we don't want our schools to look like that' sounded racist. If as INDIVIDUALS the students are doing the same, what's she afraid of? Then I also learned that we are spending less per INDIVIDUAL at-risk student. So, the net of it is that all that busing is adding up to NO GAIN for the INDIVIDUALS. Imagine if we - at 28% low income community vs CMS close to 50% low income - were to spend the same as they do. It sounds to me like we might gain some real creative solutions for these little INDIVIDUAL CHILDREN.

Stability and being able to build a community even if its not at the school closest to your home seems to be one critical issue. Busing seems to be all pain and no gain according to what I read today. So what if we found that by getting rid of busing (or limiting? Why does this have to be all or nothing?) - and spent more money on challenged schools we could actually make headway on EDUCATION would the school board agree? BUUUUT what if it would result in some concentrated communities of low income and *gasp* black schools - would the school board run the other way just based on that fact alone? What are they afraid of? Its yet another interesting question.

Why can't they/we work WITH communities, not break them up? This paternalistic 'we don't think you can do it' is incredibly arrogant and debilitating. Again, see what Geoffery Canada has done in Harlem. These are much worse cases and yet he brought hope and acheivement. Come on WAKE we are not CMS! We're better!

Don't worry,

diesel will be going back up. Waaaaaaaay up before it's over! And when it does, coupled with a lawsuit they could lose forcing a massive re-doing of the "Dulaney/Burns Utopian Experiment", elections they WILL lose this fall and several other soon to come factors, they'll be forced into stopping a lot of things!

"they need to use student assignment to help keep schools academically healthy."

Really! From recent report cards and REALITY based #'s
I don't see much healthy anything!

Outside of the MYR lawsuits

Outside of the MYR lawsuits what are the other lawsuits pending?

I wish someone could figure

I wish someone could figure out a way to sue them over their inflated number of kids per node and the capacity figures that do not really reflect actual capacity.  And how about the "notification" I received that I may be affected a mere 5 hours before the last public comment session at which I was not even allowed to speak because I was not changed during one of the work sessions.  How about due process? And what about 5 years worth of data that changed 3 times in the span of a couple of weeks.  There are many that would support another lawsuit.  Does anyone know if there are legal grounds for another suit?


As I understand it there are other legal ground for another suit. Absolutely. Its not easy to put that together, and no one WANTS to bring forward a lawsuit - given the personal and emotional cost. www.keeplocalschools.org has the infrastructure to bring that forward if needed. If you're interested you should contact them.


Of course. My taxpayer dollars should help subsidize the poorer schools. Everyone should go to school in their neighborhood. Imagine being able to live without fear of reassignment. It's so disruptive to kids to be reassigned.

I was actually hopeful that WCPSS would be forced into stopping the busing madness last summer when gas prices skyrocketed, but alas, with a Democrat Pres on the horizon, the oil companies smartly yanked the prices down for fear of a massive investigation (which still needs to happen). Too bad, because the most recent reassignment plan would have looked very different incorporating $5/gallon diesel for the buses.

Really - First point I agree, but the second.........

Oil companies don't set the price of oil. That's the job of the commodity market. It like saying gold miners set the price of gold.

I also don't think that would of stopped the bussing, the current BoE(eR) would shut schools before they would do that. Elections this year is our real hope.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.