More parents seek student reassignments - WDRB 41 Louisville News

More parents seek student reassignments

More than six hundred local families do not like the schools their young children have been assigned to next year.  That dissatisfaction is leading to a pile of work for the school assignment office.

This is the time of year school assignments are made for next year, and so it is also the time of year many families seek transfers.  But a new student assignment system for elementary students is causing a spike in transfer requests.

One parent, Russhelle Terry, says of her son, "He gets out of school at 3:40. He doesn't get home till, maybe, anywhere between five and 5:30."  She is one of many parents who seek transfers for their children each year, often because of childcare issues.

Student Assignment Director Pat Todd says, "We try to give a parent a response within ten to fifteen work days."  But transfer requests are really piling up this year.

The school system can no longer use race as a factor when it makes school assignments.  To keep schools racially diverse, the system has added new specialized programs at many schools, hoping to attract suburban students to innercity schools.

Todd says, "And this is our first year of these magnet programs, and so we did not get the response we believe we will get by year two and year three."

Since the magnet system is not producing immediate response, many students are being assigned to schools that were not their parents' first or second choices.  Parents, in turn, are trying to overrule the school system through transfer requests.

Parent Monica Marcum says, "I'd rather them go to a school that is my choice and not just what they want my kids, you know, and that's the way it is.  You choose a school and you never get it, it seems like."

A lot of parents believe they are wasting their time heading down to the Parent Assistance Office and filing for a transfer.  But Pat Todd says transfer requests are taken seriously:  "I have not been able to make everybody happy in the end, and the goal becomes, am I able to get close to happiness? So can I find them a school they feel is comparable? That is somewhat geographically located to assure some degree of convenience?"

School officials hope parents will, at least, check out the school their student has been assigned before seeking transfers.  But once a transfer request is received, the school system tries to work something out.

Assignment director Pat Todd admits, however, not every child can get the exact school requested because some schools are more popular than others.

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