Advocate editorial board opinion: School district proposes to balance demographics on its campuses
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 24, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.
Keeping school district attendance zones balanced has its problems, but the practice every two years will keep the Victoria school district out of the Texas Education Agency's cross hairs for meeting state regulations.
That balance must consider students' ethnicity, socioeconomic status and crowdedness, not always an easy task. But we think the district has done an exemplary job achieving balance among the three criteria.
The creation of the east and west learning communities two years ago grew out of the need to have a balanced district, according to the three criteria.
We understand that some students will be moved from one school to another to accomplish the desired balance. And this is hard for some students and parents, who are loyal to their schools, but at least the plan in place is not to switch students who are entering fifth grade in elementary school and eighth grade in middle school - their last year in their school.
All in all, the goal of adjusting attendance zones is to keep the balance all the way through high school. The plan will accomplish keeping the attendance zones compliant with TEA regulations.
The school district is proposing to move 469 elementary school students to other campuses. The goal is to have about 525 students per campus, while meeting the other two criteria of balancing ethnicity and socioeconomic status (besides crowdedness).
Middle school switches also will occur, but the high school attendance zones will not be affected.
If the school district waited for more years to balance the zones, the task would be more difficult. And the district would be under more scrutiny from the TEA.
We think the plan is good, and the district is wise to address balance in attendance zones every two years.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.