Sun Prairie seeking to ensure diverse student bodies ahead of new high school’s opening

Chris Rickert:

With a second high school set to open in 2022, Sun Prairie officials are redrawing middle and high school boundary lines with an eye toward creating racial and economic balance without forcing too many children to travel longer distances to schools farther from home.

Redrawing public school boundary lines can be a contentious process in any community. In Sun Prairie, it’s the latest challenge for the district of 8,500 students after residents there voted in April 2019 to construct a second high school.

“It has been controversial,” said Kellie Kalberer, who has three students in the district, including a sixth-grade son who will be directly affected by the new lines.

Equitably balanced schools are important, she said, but she’s been frustrated that when it comes to what, specifically, constitutes racial and economic balance, the “School Board hasn’t given them any guidance on what would be an OK range.”