Richmond school board adopts new diversity plan for specialty schools
The city school board is moving forward with a plan to increase diversity in its specialty schools.
What's happening: The board voted 8-1 earlier this week to overhaul the application process to guarantee that at least 50% of available seats go to economically disadvantaged students.
Why it matters: An internal review found large disparities in the demographics of students admitted to sought-after schools.
- For instance, of the 205 kids RPS sends to Maggie Walker Governor's School, 78% are white, even though white students make up just 11% of the district's total enrollment.
Details: Under the new rules, three spots will be reserved for the top-scoring applicants at each RPS middle school, per WTVR.
- Subsequent spots would go to the highest-scoring economically disadvantaged students until 50% of the seats are filled.
- From there, the remaining seats would go to the top-scoring students regardless of school or economic status.
What we're watching: The plan drew strong opposition from parents who send their kids to private school or homeschool, who would compete for a maximum of eight total spots at each school.
- One family warned the board ahead of the vote that they would pursue legal action, WTVR reported.
- "This will disenfranchise the middle class," attorney Charles Frankenhoff told the school board.
Editor's note: This story was corrected to show that private school and homeschooled students would compete for eight total spots under the new plan, not three.
More Richmond stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.