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VIA: WRAL.COM

A discussion of the controversial policy that assigns students to schools in order to maintain socio-economic balance is on the agenda Wednesday for the Wake County Board of Education.

The school district assigns students so that no school has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Students are reassigned each year to maintain that level, as well as to fill new schools and relieve overcrowding.

Five of the school board’s nine members have indicated that they plan to end the practice, which can involve busing students to schools farther from their homes, in favor of neighborhood schools.

The board’s policy committee was meeting Wednesday morning to take a first look at possible changes they might recommend.

Board members who support the policy say changing the current plan in favor of neighborhood schools would disrupt diversity at schools.

In a series of community meetings over the past few weeks, parents have spoken out both in favor and opposed to change.

At Southeast Raleigh High School on Feb. 11, Amy Womble supported the status quo. “We have to realize racism still exists in Wake County,” she said.

Joey Stansbury would rather see the policy go. “We have no data the diversity policy works,” he said.

A final public forum on the issue is planned for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, in Cary.

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