Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the Fayette County School Board will redistrict school boundaries in Fayette County.
According to the, “[g]uiding principles for student school assignment” Fayette County Schools has directed that, “[s]tudent socio-economic status will be a primary consideration in the assignment of neighborhoods to schools so as to balance the economic diversity of students in every school.”
Although balancing socio-economic status in schools has been stated as a primary consideration in drawing school boundaries, it is widely documented that letting students go to the local school in their community, even if it means that most of the students would be the same race or socio-economic status, is greatly preferred by a majority in the community.
Associated Press-Ipsos Poll, Apr. 16-18, 2004 (“In your view, which of the following is better? Letting students go to the local school in their community, even if it means that most of the students would be the same race [or] transferring students to other schools to create more integration, even if it means that some students would have to travel out of their communities to go to school.” 78% of the people polled agreed with letting students go to the local school in their community rather than busing students to other communities.)
The idea that socio-economic status must be the primary focus in redistricting is contradicted within our own state – specifically Oldham County. For example, please see Oldham County School’s website: http://www.oldham.k12.ky.us/redistricting/index.php/public-forums/forum-1-information/
1) Improves academic achievement for all students;
2) Develops creative ways to deliver the resources necessary to improve the learning environment in schools with students of relatively lower socio-economic status;
3) Pursues as its primary consideration the principle of attending a school close to your home and with those that live in in the same neighborhood (rather than socio-economic status);
4) Schools that are currently achieving, and not directly affected by necessary redistricting with new schools being built, remain in their current school district;
5) Avoids creating unnecessary extended busing system;
6) Addresses overcrowded schools through choice-based solutions; and
7) Does not force redistricting on any family.