For some reason, there’s become a dichotomy in the discussion about the student assignment plan in Charlotte.
Either you’re for diverse schools, or you’re against busing. Why are we looking at it like this? There are plenty of ways to make schools more diverse without busing kids miles and miles away.
Some current “home school” zones don’t make sense.
Now, I’m sure there were some reasons the districts came together the way they did. But take a look at a few of these. You can look at all the maps yourself here.
(1) Myers Park High
Just look at that thing. The bottom tail of the Myers Park High boundary goes all the way down to Pineville-Matthews Road, picking up Olde Providence and a whole lot of other upper-income areas down that way. They’re being bused nearly 9 miles on some of the busiest roads in the city.
(2) Harding University High
Meanwhile, all the kids in the apartments on South Boulevard near Woodlawn (and Sedgefield/Madison Park for that matter) are less than three miles away from Myers Park High but are being bused to Harding High seven to 10 miles away.
Harding University High is about 80 percent economically disadvantaged. Myers Park High is about 33 percent low-income. There’s bound to be a way to even that up and shorten busing times.
(3) Quail Hollow Middle
Nobody who lives in what you would really consider “Quail Hollow” is districted for this middle school. Gleneagles Road and all those gated communities go to Carmel Middle. Quail Hollow Middle is among the lowest-income though it is quite literally a 5-iron from the country club.
Neighboring Carmel Middle’s boundary doesn’t look as bad but again, there has to be a way to even this out.
(4) McClintock Middle
This is another instance where the school is pushed right up against a upper-income neighborhood (Sherwood Forest) that isn’t assigned to it. They go to A.G. Middle.
McClintock has been making strides, thanks in part to a STEAM magnet. But again…opportunities.
(5) This huge elementary school divide along Park Road.
CMS is primarily using Park Road as the boundary between Selwyn, Sharon and Beverly Woods elementary schools on one side (three of the most affluent schools) and Pinewood, Montclaire and Huntingtowne Farms on the other side (some of the lowest income).
It’s not just about busing.
It’s about fears that affluent parents will leave CMS and go to private or charter schools if their assignment is changed. Let’s at least have an honest discussion.