Wake Ed

Municipal housing patterns impact Wake County school diversity

The issue of how much municipal housing patterns are hampering efforts to keep Wake County school enrollments diverse came up at the school board’s recent winter retreat.

Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore told the school board on Saturday that housing patterns are outside the district’s control but are still worth discussing with local elected officials. She then mentioned a meeting she attended during the past year with a group of people representing municipalities and real-estate agents from all over Wake County.

“It was clear to us in the room because they said that municipalities are really only looking to build certain kinds of homes, and those certain kinds of homes that they’re looking to build do not necessarily promote diverse housing across the district,” Moore said.

“So there’s a community piece around what our schools should look like that’s not within the locus of control of the school board, but certainly within the locus of influence for the citizenry that supports the schools.”

Since housing is not within the district’s purview, the board directed staff on Monday to consider using a new round of targeted, limited-scale student reassignments to promote diversity.

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition has also talked about encouraging towns to increase affordable housing options to promote school diversity.

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