Some Cincinnati parents boarded a school bus heading to Monday’s school board meeting to let board members know their disapproval of their decision to move to a 100 percent school lottery.
The controversial "first-come" system left many parents camping on the front lawn of magnet schools for weeks ahead of the mid-November application deadline. Many called the campouts unfair for parents whose work and family obligations kept them from participating.
For some parents, the new system is a no-go.
"We just feel really tricked here. They switch the policy here on us after we spent all this money to move. We were counting on this. We have no idea where we're send our daughter now,” said parent Betsy Sunderman.
"It was in fact an awful policy not just for me not because I can't get my daughter into the school I want but because it halts all the amazing urban renewal in our communities,” said parent Rick Wolf.
Cincinnatians for School Access is a coalition of parents from across the city. They're asking the board to acknowledge that there were problems with the process and parents/citizens should have been granted more opportunity for input. Enact a one-year moratorium on the new policy or find an acceptable compromise for the coming year. And retain a third party or consultant to ensure transparency and parental/citizen engagement moving forward.
Board members say this issue had been discussed for months and that this was not a rash decision.
"Unfortunately folks aren't as engaged as we like them to be on a regular bases we see folks coming out when things happen when it directly affect their lives,” said board president Alexander Kuhns.
Board members encourage parents to speak on this issue as they move forward with a more permanent plan for the future.