This Dallas suburb, a wealthy enclave known for its top-notch schools, is struggling to integrate a flood of poor, minority students.
In a battle mirrored in other districts across the U.S., parents here have been fighting for months over which public high school their kids will attend: one under construction in an affluent corner of the Plano Independent School District, or an older school several miles away in the city’s more diverse downtown.
Last month, the district’s school board angered many parents when it created a Pac-Man-shaped zone that placed their children in the downtown school for grades nine and 10 instead of in the newer, closer campus.
The downtown school has the highest proportion of poor students of all high schools in the district; many are Hispanic and African-American.
“We want to go to our neighborhood school,” said Kelly McBrayer, a white, 48-year-old stay-at-home mother of three who lives near the site of the new high school.