Per the News & Observer, recent legislation commissioned a group to study the impact of school assignment policies based on socioeconomic status, which, by proxy, is an unabashedly racial policy. The study commission will examine whether the socioeconomic (race) based assignment policies, that lead to busing students long distances in an effort to achieve racially diverse schools, impact the value of education. Also, the commission may suggest that the General Assembly adopt funding formulas that push local school districts to adopt assignment policies similar to the one that the popularly elected Wake County School Board is in the process of dismantling.
Considering that the General Assembly may take action to commandeer school assignment authority currently granted to local school boards, breaking with the notion that the government closest to the people governs best and is most reflective of public opinion, the issue currently dominating Wake County politics may thrust itself into legislative campaigns across the state. If the General Assembly does enact a coercive funding formula designed to implement racial diversity policies across the state against the will of local school boards, perhaps voters should ask candidates if they support the Wake County diversity policy supported by the NAACP and its leader, Rev. William Barber. Electing candidates that support the race-based assignment policy may result in busing in districts across the state. People across North Carolina have undoubtedly paid close attention to what’s going on in Wake County schools. With the results of the legislative study committee pending, busing and the racial diversity policy being phased out in Wake County could be be coming to a school district near you.