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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An effort to control school overcrowding in New Hanover County may mean a loss of funding to the tune of more than $750,000.

The new lines that have been drawn to divide New Hanover County School districts have been the cause for a lot of controversy. Like the districts, the school board’s opinion is split.

“My conclusion is that yes, we have segregated our schools,” school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh said.

Fellow board member Don Hayes disagrees.

“We have not segregated the school system,” Hayes said. “Yes, there’s a higher concentration of one race or the other in the schools, but that’s due to the housing patterns.”

This debate is the result of a new state law regarding disadvantaged students supplemental funding. The state has asked the school board to decide whether its policies were made to intentionally segregate. If the board’s answer is yes, New Hanover County Schools will lose more than $750,000.

School board members in favor of neighborhood schools supported redistricting to control overcrowding not to segregate, but Redenbaugh, who voted against the adopted redistricting plan, believes her fellow board members did not take into account some important factors.

“If you don’t take into account socioeconomic status, you can end up, putting the majority of the children in a school that come from a background of poverty, which makes it much more difficult on them. Their problems, they compound when they’re all under the same roof,” Redenbaugh said.

Hayes says those children are the ones who will suffer if the disadvantaged student funding is lost.

“I’m just very surprised and disappointed, because our schools have been doing so well, and the children have made so much progress, and now, they would want to jeopardize funding that we spend in these high-poverty schools,” Hayes said.

School board members must decide whether the concept of neighborhood schools has intentionally caused segregation. The school board will meet soon to discuss its response to the state. The state must receive the board’s response by October 20.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest3658974

    Mrs. Redenbaugh, get a clue. The reason the schools are doing better is because we are mixing higher performing children with lower peforming children, thus bringing the statistics up. I understand this is a liberal way of looking at statistics and you can’t help it, but please don’t act like the rest of us are stupid. Quite frankly, I am not here to support the children of the slugs of society and if the state does not want to give money to a school system because they are not doing as much for the lower class as they should be, then that tells us where their priorities lie. No wonder our children are not being educated. Furthermore, how dare any of you use children to push your socialist views onto the productive members of society. Yes, I do feel bad for the children from the lower class neighborhoods and I do feel they should have an equal education. However, make sure you sit down when you read this, it may surprise many of you to know that when given the same chances as higher performing children, many of the youth today throw them away. But I guess that is the fault of the higher performing children too.

  • Guest

    Everytime I read something about our redistricting, my stomach turns. Talk about a bandaid effort every step of the way. I am so frustrated with them talking about these dissadvantaged areas. They do exist, and I do not wish that for anyone. But why does Redenbaugh think it is up to the school system to somehow remedy that with these proposed efforts of “mixing” children and “masking” the real deficits. Put more money into the schools in the broken areas to PREVENT them from failing.Put more teachers there,do mandatory afterschool study halls, help them, and quit bussing our kids around to balance stats and numbers. It is so fitting that the money is possibly lost. Redenbaugh is out to lunch, she infuriates me. I cannot believe she even believes herself.Our neighborhood was one that was moved out and downtown to balance the numbers. Ironically, the school we were moved from, and then to, were still at max capacity. Kids need to go to the closer school, dont put them through logistical headaches, instead put money where it is needed. And if anyone really wants a good bit of info, check out “no child left behind”. It is part of the problem, basically it says if children attend a school and they do not make the “mark” and test high enough, they can “opt” out of the school, thereby making room for some bussed kids to come in and even out the numbers. So is it the kid or the school. Sure wish our board would make every effort in those schools to make sure that no child failed this test, thereby not allowing the “no child left behind” act be put into place. That is what affected our neighborhood. So Redenbaugh needs to push at looking at prevention, not react and bandaid this situation.

  • Guest7969

    “If you don’t take into account socioeconomic status, you can end up, putting the majority of the children in a school that come from a background of poverty, which makes it much more difficult on them. Their problems, they compound when they’re all under the same roof,” Redenbaugh said”

    What your saying is that…THEY’RE STUPID…and unable to learn as well as middle class children…SHAME ON YOU!!!

    Why should a middle class child be be punished and put at a “disadvantage” for their parents success?

  • guestilm

    So, now that the middle schools are enrolled under the BOE’s disjointed, politically-driven district map, it took a superintendant’s report to note that: a) overcrowded schools remain overcrowded, b) several schools, including the newest middle school (Holly Shelter), are burdened with an unreasonably high free/reduced lunch rate (as well as being the most underenrolled), and c) the county can’t afford to properly staff Holly Shelter middle school, a facility built using funds from the 2005 bond referendum. Class sizes average more than 40 children in this “brand new”, “state-of-the-art” school. Who in this community is actually surprised?

    Earlier this year, the BOE had a map (Map 3A), which had every middle school in the county under capacity without the use of trailers, and every middle school at a free/reduced rate of less than 50%, with the exception of DC Virgo, which had an improved rate. The BOE’s rationale for not adopting this map was that it moved too many children around.

    But, the BOE was ok with moving specific study areas of children significantly farther from home in order to appease even smaller pockets of neighborhoods.

    I truly don’t envy Dr. Markley in having to deal with the mess created by our current BOE.

  • Guestilm

    Correction – this post should refer to Map 3C.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    If we lose the $750k, so be it. Far more important is that we stand firm in rejecting the idiotic notion that shipping students to distant schools will benefit anyone beyond fuel dealers and guilt-ridden left-wing loons who think they somehow owe something to the “economically disadvantaged.”

    You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, regardless of how far you bus it. Until we start seeing parents socializing, disciplining, and providing a preliminary education to their child before they enter elementary school, we’ll be dealing with a lot of sow’s ears.

  • SurfCityTom

    wait until the legislature reconvenes and has to face a 3 Billion Dollar deficit for the next fiscal year. Wait until the state has to repay the $28,000,000 which was improperly paid to Entitlement Recipients.

    Wait until the Dollar has no value.

    You have not seen anything.


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