While the official “student assignment” plan says nothing about the need to balance schools from a socioeconomic standpoint, Superintendent Andy Craig and consultant Tim Aho did refer to the need to balance elementary schools not only racially, but socioeonomically.
The socioeconomic indicator to which school officials are referring is the percentage of students eligible for free- or reduced-price meals.
But if that is the case, why is one elementary school, Green Valley Elementary, being completely left out of the rezoning plan?
Green Valley’s 2013-2014 enrollment showed 46% of students qualified for free- and reduced-price meals. Only one elementary school, Trace Crossings Elementary, had a higher percentage of students eligible, at 51%.
If Craig’s rezoning proposal is approved by the U.S. District Court, that percentage drops to 19% for Trace Crossings (second-lowest behind Greystone, which moves to 11%), but remains at 46% for Green Valley.
The only single-family-homeowning neighborhood to be rezoned is Lake Cyrus and they are being shuffled from Deer Valley to Trace Crossings.
And Deer Valley’s percentage doubles to 26%, while Trace Crossings’ drops to 19%. How does that balance out anything? Look at South Shades Crest: from 24% to 32%.
And what’s with the apartment complex-shuffling at Rocky Ridge and Riverchase? Their percentages barely change.
What is really behind the dramatic drop in percentage at Trace Crossings? From 51% to 19%? Could it have anything to do with this?
Here’s a data visualization with the numbers going back to the 2004-2005 school year. (Tableau data visualizations can’t be posted on WordPress.com sites.)
Here’s a static chart with only the pre- and post-rezoning percentages.