Comments on school board’s redistricting panel

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I read the Sentinel’s report of the meeting of the ad hoc committee on redistricting of the Rome City School system. That report was an outstanding and thorough account.

Board Vice President, Tanya Davis, states that Equity (academic opportunity, physical building quality, remedial support for areas of weakness in preparation, etc.) is the number one priority for this redistricting process. If that is true, I believe that the impediments to Equity are the following: 1. The school buildings and their locations, that hold the disadvantaged students. 2. Teacher assignments that are based on teacher seniority. Senior members naturally select the schools with best working conditions and best prepared students. The rest of the redistricting discussions are of secondary importance to solving Inequity in view of these two realities.

Two-way School Busing and high levels of investment in the salaries and buildings that house the disadvantaged students are the tried-and-true solutions to the school building issue. Busing is very unpopular for the parents of the bused-in students.

Or close the disadvantaged schools and assign the students throughout the rest of the district. That solves the teacher seniority and busing in parents problems. The parents of the bused-out students will not be happy to lose their local school.

— Eugene C. Blackburn, Rome

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