Choice schools have become havens for white, affluent students

I attended the recent input meeting for the proposed boundary changes and choice school additions in Rochester. As a result of that meeting, I have a major concern in regards to racial and socio-economic segregation.

The data that was presented at the meeting clearly shows that the choice schools (Lincoln, Washington, Longfellow, Franklin Montessori) are segregated racially and socio-economically. Washington, for example has a 72.1 percent white student population, while the district average is 62.2 percent. The free-and-reduced lunch rate at Washington is only 12.1 percent, while the district average is 39.8 percent.

The highest percentage of white population is at Lincoln being 79.2 percent, and its free-and-reduced lunch rate is 15.4 percent.

My question for parents and the school board is: How will adding 4 more choice schools help the district achieve its goal of reducing segregation by race and income? It would not.

The information at the meeting also stated that the district wants to "refine lottery and enrollment practices to provide for access to choice and address socio-economic and racial isolation between elementary schools."


While the board did not in any way explain what "refine lottery and enrollment practices would be," a person could conclude that discrimination could be made against higher-income, white students seeking to attend choice schools.

Heidi Strain


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