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The Politics of Maintaining Balanced Schools: An Examination of Three Districts

The Politics of Maintaining Balanced Schools: An Examination of Three Districts

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The Politics of Maintaining Balanced Schools: An Examination of Three Districts

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  1. The Politics of Maintaining Balanced Schools: An Examination of Three Districts Sheneka M. Williams

  2. Background • Residential Segregation • Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1 (PICS) • Political Will in Local Communities

  3. Selected Cases • Wake County Public School System, North Carolina • Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky • Champaign Unit #4 Schools, Illinois

  4. Political Continuum Wake County Jefferson County Champaign Unit #4 Highly Political Moderately Political Less Political

  5. Lessons Learned • Wake County • Develop a comprehensive student assignment policy that adequately attends to population growth • Local coalitions make a difference • Jefferson County • School board elections are essentially non-partisan • The political power of teacher unions • Champaign Unit #4 • Smaller district size, less politics • Providing parents with a modicum of choice might lessen political fallout

  6. Lessons for Policy Makers • Public school choice a more politically sustainable way of promoting socioeconomic school integration and managing district growth • Districts need to communicate the rationale behind socioeconomic integration • Civic groups should build alliances if they support socioeconomic integration • Socioeconomic integration can become a more viable option with support from national political leaders