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September 23rd Redistricting Meeting

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Hundreds of parents showed up last night for the first public forum on redistricting New Hanover County schools. Parents filled Codington Elementary School to speak their minds about plans to redistrict the county next year. There are three options on the table right now. The majority of parents at the meeting, wearing red, overwhelmingly support a neighborhood option which sends kids to schools near their homes. Other options focus more on diversifying schools, and would affect hundreds, if not thousands, of students. The school board will make the final decision. Last night's meeting gave them a chance to hear what parents want. Ashley Harrell, a local parent said, "I think that redistricting and busing children around, especially at this young of an age, has got a lot of drawbacks." Yolanda Clark, also a local parent, said, "The only time I think they get out and meet other kids is so you spread them out and meet and mingle. If you keep a child within those barriers, that's all they're going to learn." There will be two more public forums. October 6, 2008 at Eaton Elementary and October 21, 2008 at Freeman Elementary.

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Redistricting

I walked to school when I was little to Carolina Beach School. Then by 5th grade (1972) I was bussed to 10th & Meares St, 20 miles from home-they needed more white kids. It was a totally negative experience, every morning first thing they cleaned out the drunks, homeless & cleaned up broken glass before we could go out to play. The principal lined up the white kids every morning & told us that she was made to take us white kids, she didn't want us there at all cause she only wanted black kids in her school. She instructed the teachers to make our lives difficult for the 2yrs we were there. I cried, got into fights constantly & I'm a girl (woman now) but it had long lasting affects. My parents just couldn't afford private school & we only had 1 car that Dad used for work. Just think of the better use of money to be used to improve the schools instead of spending on fuel to bus the kids around some starting as early as 6-6:30 in the morning. Doesn't sound economically feasible to me. I know a man that fuels the school buses everyday for the last 8yrs & he says fuel costs have gone up 65% in the last 5yrs. Check it out for yourselves. Let's make the board accountable for their spending decisions especially when it can have long reaching effects on our children's lives. If you want diversity then bring the schools together for studies & social activities, etc.

re-districting

The amount of diversity in your particular neighborhood is not the problem. Anyone with any sense whatsoever can look at the numbers and see that we have separate but equal schools already forming. I understand the concern about busing kids around but the "rat holes" that are referred to by an earlier writer are not only unacceptable for your child, they should not be acceptable for any child in this county.

First

When I referred to "rat holes", those schools have been there for a LONG time...I mean...I went to one of them before the name changed...it was a miserable place to be back then. My thoughts on what should happen to those schools remains...tear them down! HOWEVER, those schools are in the same DISREPAIR that most of the housing is in down that direction. That is ONE HUNDRED percent a result of how people live and think....that is why I will not subject my child to that. I live in a community that shares common goals and feelings about education and higher learning....I shouldn't be PUNISHED because, A, I am white and B, I decided to pay my way through college to better my life and raise my family in an environment that fosters the values we hold to be most important. What is happening here is that children whos parents take education seriously...THEIR children are being shuttled to other schools to make up for kids whos parents don't give a hoot about education. THAT is worse that racism! That is the whole Democrat mindset of punishing the masses to take care of the lazy!

Kids should stay close to home

I think we need to put more emphasis on the fact that commuting children all over town cost way too much to fuel the buses. Besides who says my neighborhood isn't diversified, that's like saying hey you live over there you are just like so and so who lives there too just because we are from the same area. Also why would it matter to someone else about the diversity of my child if I would like them to stay closer to my home anyway? It is my child. I like the comfort of knowing that if something happened I could be that much closer. Besides wouldn't it be great if parents could have some say in where they go to public school. I think all the gas money we could save should go to teacher pay raises.

Take a good look at all 3

Take a good look at all 3 options. It will become clear that the team entrusted with the redistricting is pulling this out of their rectums. They don't have the experience nor the proper people in place to deal with this. Dr Lerch, as a leader you should provide us with the professional backgrounds of your team and their experience as it relates to similar situations? Show us why we should trust your judgment. I challenge you to disclose the information on your team!

Well

In HER situation, most likely, everything is FINE AND DANDY because her child is getting bussed to Murrayville or a school that is nice and doing well...however, that is NOT the case for many...as they are going to be bussed to RAT HOLES...my kids will NOT go to one of those schools, plain and simple... The other thing is HOME VALUES which is something they might not want to be screwing with right now...

re-districting

Re: redistricting They just redistricted a year ago and have not had time to generate reliable statistical data to know if it provided any improvement. Additionally, they have now moved principals around, so any data will not be statistically consistent because you do not know if any improvements were due to the school changes or the principal changes. Shouldn't we validate the success of the last change before we change again??? More importantly, in these economically trying times, we are deliberately increasing expenses for busing children all over heck and back. Not only is this a long day for children, it is a significant expense for providing transportation. If the school board has all this extra money to bus kids around against the will of parents and the kids, perhaps they should allocate additionally resources, including more personnel, to those schools with lower test scores. Reduce class size, provide more one-on-one teaching rather than burn a bunch of gas. We as a nation are trying to become more efficient and less dependent on oil, yet let's let local school board spend a bunch of unnecessary money on fuel. Nonsense. Give children quality of life. We don't expect adults to start their commute at 6am and then ride around for an hour to get started on their day. Don't expect kids to either. Don't re-district without valdiation that your last re-district worked. A study on fuel costs for this convaluted plan would be most interesting. Let's see the fuel, vehicle maintenance and overtime for drivers cost. (We most certainly would have accelerated depreciation of buses too since they will be driving kids long distances.) Then see how many additional resources that would buy us for inner-city schools. More bang for our buck? If it means more kids get more one-on-one teaching time, you bet!

Redistricting

I would worry about the high cost of transporting children all over. Fuel costs are very high as it is and the probability of them going down significantly is low. I wonder if the School Board has thought this plan through to the cost that will ultimately fall to each taxpayer.

Here we go again

In response to Yolanda Clark, also a local parent, said, "The only time I think they get out and meet other kids is so you spread them out and meet and mingle. If you keep a child within those barriers, that's all they're going to learn." Unfortunately in life, as we get older... That is all we do anyway... We secure ourselves around our own surroundings socially. This is not barrier-sense.. This is about common sense… In 5th grade, I was forced to leave my school which was only 4 blocks from my house and was bussed to Tileston. It was the worst experience of my entire life.. Point being.. If at age 36 I remember it being so horrid an experience, that means that is in some way scarred me for life. It is difficult enough in today's world to learn. Why make that a more distractive sentence to a child by taking them out of their surroundings of comfort? The extra travel time that will take away from studying and after school activities... The extra monies spent on fuel that could go towards classroom supplies... The entire thought of taking children out of their neighborhood is a decision which repulsive and incoherent, uneducated decision dating back to post-segregation for liberal loo-loos. If it goes through, we should file a class action against the school board to reverse the decision and waste more time and money since that is the only thing our current school board apparently knows how to do.....

bused as well

I was bused during my middle school years to DC Virgo. Our school dances were held during the day and the band concert held right after school before it got dark. Let's just sum it up and say 15 years ago it wasn't the best of neighborhoods. At the time I lived closer to three different middle schools, but this was the one I was sent to because they needed more white kids there. I have two kids, and while I'm worried about which school they will go to, I also know that the majority, if not all of the schools are open enrollment. I have no problem driving my kids to the better schools. Let's all hope for the best of this redistricting, being getting neighborhood schools approved, but if they don't... Well, let's make the best of a poor situation. I know parents are quick to blame "well that school is bad, test scores are low, the teachers aren't as good, etc.." Get involved with your child's school! If you're involved you will know what's going on and you can bring your concerns to the principle or school board. School's that fail have been proven to have a lower parent involvement rate. Stop leaving the raising and education of your kids solely up to the school systems. YOU are their parent YOU should be involved in their life, meaning EVERY aspect of it. YOU should be their FIRST teacher. Be involved in your kids life and even if they go to a "bad" school they will succeed. If you feel they are being educationally held back because of the other students, get learning programs for your home and work with them there. Or talk with their principle and ask if they can be jumped a grade. And please, stop blaming the teachers. My husband is a teacher and it burns me up to hear people saying "the teachers aren't as good there". 95% of the teachers are the same. They are doing the best they can with what they have. No child left behind doesn't help matters at all. And the intense testing we do doesn't help either. Kids don't have any fun in the classroom anymore because they are drilled from day one on the "big test". All in all, if you are involved you will see a difference in your school and in your child no matter where they go.

While

you are correct...the parents at THOSE SCHOOLS should be the ones taking an active roll in the schools THEIR children go to...the FIX shouldn't be to bus children from other neighborhoods to up the participation from parents that might participate more and who take education seriously. You can be mad at that all you want, but the shools are what they are....either we are EQUAL or we aren't...which one is it? IF we are equal, which I think we are...then all this "diversity" is an excercise in futility. The other problem is...if this goes through..open enrollment will be OVERWHELMED and I would venture to guess that it would be difficult to get your child in another school.

We live in a diverse neighborhood

We live on a corner that consists of four homes. Out of those four homes, three (including ours) have boys that are in the second grade at the same school. My child is the only Caucasian. He plays with these boys daily. I would say he is getting diversity without having to be bussed into it.

I agree

I agree 100% and fully support a class action suit, and will sign on immediately!!!!

I remember those days...

Yes, I'm local, 37 years young, and I too was bussed. I was bussed to Peabody and Snipes School. I can recall the experience as not being positive as well. Redistricting is not the answer to the problem. Come on now, can't the school board think "outside of the box" for a solution to this problem? I'm sure they can go on some sort of "retreat" to a remote beach someplace and figure SOMETHING out! LOL...

Make Schools Great by Diversifying,,,

The only way to make all schools great is to provide diversity in EVERY school. Murrayville is a great example of a very diverse population, and a wonderfully fantastic staff and administration. Diversity enriches schools and helps children learn and appreciate differences.