WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County School Board promised it had no plans for segregation when it moved to a system of neighborhood schools. Superintendent Tim Markley along with Board Chair Ed Higgins will sign a letter certifying the policy has not contributed to school segregation. Four board members voted to support that sentiment, but three voted against it.
It comes down to intent. Did New Hanover Schools intentionally segregate? On the line: $800,000 the school district has already received from Raleigh. The money's already been allocated to individual schools throughout the county.
North Carolina's Department of Public Instruction wants assurance there was no purposeful segregation, and it wants it in writing. Markley and Higgins will sign a letter giving the state exactly what it wants.
"We assigned people based on where they lived," Higgins said. "We did not look at their race."
Not everybody's happy it though.
"I'm frustrated the majority of the board won't recognize this was intentionally done," board member Dorothy DeShields said.
Higgins said the three votes against signing the letter will have no impact on Raleigh. He said there's nothing wrong with neighborhood schools. In fact that's what most parents want. Higgins said established housing patterns are the problem, and the city and county could do something about that if they really wanted to.