The Story: The End of Busing

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is still using the geographic student assignment plan, and many of its schools are now racially identifiable as either "black" or "white" schools. The increasing population of immigrant Latino students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is another factor in the issue of race and schools. Statistically, immigrant Latino students more often live in high-poverty areas and attend high-poverty schools—the very schools that are least equipped with the experienced teachers and resources to help bilingual students improve their English skills and succeed in American schools.

"Educate Everybody"
- Ned Irons

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Supporters of desegregation hope that the tide will turn again, and Charlotte’s schools will once again use busing to achieve racial integration. They feel that achievement and learning increase when schools are integrated, and students benefit from the exposure to classmates of all races and walks of life. Supporters of neighborhood schools argue that the new assignment system allows schools to be a stronger part of the neighborhood community, increases parental involvement because families live closer to their children’s schools, and spares students the long bus rides experienced under the busing system. It remains to be seen how the new geographic assignment plan will affect students and schools in the long term, but it is certain that race will continue to be one of the most hotly debated issues in the future of Charlotte’s schools.

For more resources, see: Students' Guide next arrow