Amarillo ISD proposes plan to change North Heights neighborhood assigned schools

Amarillo ISD proposes plan to change North Heights neighborhood assigned schools
Amarillo ISD submitted a proposal to the federal government in hopes of changing the mandatory busing of students in the North Heights School area. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Nearly five decades ago, Amarillo ISD executed the voluntary desegregation plan to comply with the racial proportional composition in some AISD schools.

Students in the North Heights neighborhood continue to ride buses out of their neighborhood.

Until this day, students in the North Heights neighborhood continue to ride buses out of their neighborhood to attend schools assigned to their street.

“You could have a student living on one block attending one school and then their best friend across the street were being bused to a different school,” said Amarillo ISD board Trustee Robin Malone.

The new plan implements school choice to the students residing in the Carver Attendance Zone.

“They can continue to attend the school that they are assigned to under the voluntary desegregation plan or they can choose to attend Carver or Carver ECA,” said Malone.

When students are in their fourth grade year, they will have the opportunity to choose a feeder pattern for their secondary schools.

“Once they choose that pattern, they are locked into that feeder pattern as long as they continue to reside in the Carver school zone,” said Malone.

The district’s proposed plan was profoundly supported by the community, including the Amarillo Education Association.

“It brings equity to a neighborhood that hasn’t had it in about five decades, and it is important that all of our children in Amarillo have equitable access to the same education,” said President of Amarillo Education Association Aaaron Phillips.

“For so long they have not had that choice and we wanted to restore that, that element of choice to them,” said Malone.

The proposed changes will not affect the magnet component of Carver Elementary School or Carver ECA Elementary School.

The school is currently waiting for the federal government to pass the proposal.

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