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February 3, 2008

Madison Schools' Using race to deny white student transfers to be topic for the School Board

Andy Hall:

As families' application deadline looms, many are wondering whether the Madison School District will halt its practice of using race as the reason for denying some white students' requests to transfer to other districts.

The answer could begin to emerge as early as Monday, the first day for Wisconsin families

to request open-enrollment transfers for the coming school year.

Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater and the district's legal counsel will confer Monday night with the School Board. It's possible that after the closed-door discussion, the board will take a vote in open session to stop blocking open-enrollment requests on the basis of race, School Board President Arlene Silveira said.

"This is a serious decision for our school district, " Rainwater said.

"It is our responsibility to take a very careful look at legal issues facing our school district. "

Last year, Madison was the only of the state's 426 school districts to deny transfer requests because of race, rejecting 126 white students' applications to enroll in other districts, including online schools. Many of the affected students live within the district but weren't enrolled in public schools because they were being home-schooled or attended private schools.

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Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 3, 2008 7:32 AM
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