On November 18th, 2014, by a 7 to 1 vote, with Lisa Bell casting the sole dissenting vote, the Prince William County School Board deviated from the DOJ Negotiated Plan deciding to alter it by again busing in an affluent area from the other side of the County.
Interestingly, the School Board decided to take the action of moving this area back into the Twelfth High School boundary without any accompanying data report or map. The highly unusual action was taken at the bequest of School Superintendent Dr. Steven L. Walts who provided a student count contradictory to numbers previously released by the System’s Facilities Department.
This action puts capacity at the Twelfth High School at approximately 116% before transfers in its’ second year open. The plan moves close to 600 additional students over their Original Plan and calls into question whether the Performing Arts Specialty Program offered at the new school will be open to transfers.
Prince William County Schools and the US Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division have reached an agreement concerning the boundaries for the Twelfth High School. The negotiated deal resolves the egregious issues concerning the non-contiguous portions of the school boundaries but doesn’t go far enough in rectifying the demographic split between schools.
The boundaries for Prince William County’s ‘Twelfth’ High School have officially come under review by the US Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division for violations of the Equal Education Opportunity Act of 1974. At issue – the disparity between demographic groups: Limited English Proficiency, Economically Disadvantaged and Minorities among schools.
Figures suggest that the District’s proposed attendance boundary modifications assign some students to a school other than the one closest to their home and have the effect of concentrating minority students in some schools while limiting the number of minority students assigned to others, including 12th High School.