Some of you might hit the News and Observer’s paywall trying to access it, but here’s the paragraph where Liddy plants the ‘proof’ of his Op Ed’s title; Emphasis added is mine:
As reported by The News & Observer’s Keung Hui and David Raynor, Wake is seeing more racial and economic imbalance, with some schools having huge percentages of students in the category of needing free and reduced-price lunches, something virtually all experts know is not good in terms of academic performance. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do better if they are not isolated among themselves. And the board finds itself with suburban schools that are overwhelmingly white. That’s hardly what leaders had in mind with desegregated schools, which were supposed to expose students to a school “society” that was much like the one in which they’d live and work.
Did you catch that small distinction in language – “category of needing“? Is it needing or just overall expansion of the program?
Folks, the income threshold for Free and Reduced lunches (FRL) has risen for 6 years straight, which has brought more families into eligibility range. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post this week.
For example, from the 2009-10 school year up until the current school year, a family with one child for the Free lunch category has had their income threshold for FRL eligibility raised by $1,222 dollars. $130 of that $1,222 is just since last school year (2014-15).
Reduced price lunch category jumped $185 dollars from last year. The overall increase in eligibility threshold for the reduced price lunch for a family with one child since 2009-10 is $1,739.
The question needs to be asked, are more families taking advantage of the FRL program simply because they now qualify for it? Is that really showing a diversity issue? Correlation does not equal causation.
By the same creepy token, if your neighborhood is ‘too white’ as so deemed by the Wake School board, diversity must be thrust upon your district?
Liddy also doesn’t even mention homeschooling or the increased number of charter schools as factors in the changing demographic and socioeconomic landscape. For that matter, the Wake School board doesn’t really seem to be considering why parents are heading for exits. Hint: it’s not because of diversity.
What Liddy does get right is the number of failed ways Wake county school board has had in increasing ‘diversity’, including the wildly unpopular busing scheme.