“I know from personal experience that she strives to create positive, inclusive and quality education for all Asheville City Schools students.”
Asheville City Schools maintains its increased preschool tuition — as much as $275 per month for some families — are in line with those of other local programs.
Specifics on how the Asheville City Schools system spends its local allocation (at over $5,800 per student, the second-highest in North Carolina) and its plans to reduce costs have been hard to come by — and may have been concealed in violation of state open meetings law during a May 18 special closed session of the Asheville City Board of Education.
Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman disputed the account of a parent who said administrators failed to respond to repeated requests for information about what the closure of Asheville Primary School would mean to her daughter. After being provided with details by Xpress, Freeman spoke with Sara Shea on March 18.
“The path we’re on right now is a collision that puts us backwards and actually takes classrooms offline,” said Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, regarding the Asheville City Schools plan to relocate preschool classrooms from Asheville Primary School to other elementary schools and Asheville Housing Authority developments.
“Our data tells us that we are doing a disservice to our black students, and you can’t say it any plainer than that,” said Shaunda Sandford, chair of the Asheville City Board of Education.
State data show that the gap in academic achievement between white and black students in the Asheville City Schools is the largest in North Carolina. The district is launching a new initiative to address the persistent problem — but only time will tell whether this effort will succeed where so many have failed to show results.