Wake County Republicans are making it clear that they're going to push neighborhood schools in this fall's school board elections.
In an op-ed piece submitted by Wake GOP Chairman Claude Pope, he is stressing the party's support of candidates who will back a "neighborhood-centric assignment policy."
While school board elections are officially non-partisan, that's more myth than reality. Both the Republicans and Democrats have thrown money and organizational support behind candidates over the years.
"Be assured that the Republican Party in Wake County will vigorously support School Board candidates who actively support the concept of neighborhood schools," Pope writes. " And while we may not “officially” endorse an Independent or Democrat who holds these views (after all, we’re still Republicans), we will be working behind the scenes with a very diverse group of neighborhood school advocates — regardless of their party affiliation — to further the concept and implementation of a neighborhood-centric student assignment policy."
Pope's letter touts a new parental choice assignment approach that has a lot of similarities to Charlotte-Mecklenburg's method.
Pope says put more magnet schools in "economically-depressed neighborhoods." Then allow students to go to neighborhood schools with parents given the option to send their children to a more diverse school.
Pope touts how with this approach "our school system can once again be the envy of the nation, and the engine that continues to drive economic development in our county."
The flip side is that a lot of families would likely opt to stay in their neighborhoods, creating segregation by choice.
Click here to read Pope's op-ed piece.
Fixed link for Pope's op-ed.