Halifax County, NC

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Halifax County Public Schools

The Center's work in Halifax County seeks to inform parents and community members about the constitutional benefits of Leandro v. State of North Carolina for their children's educations. In May 2009, the Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning approved a consent order between the Halifax County Board of Education, the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the State Board of Education to implement a three-year intervention plan for teachers, administrators and elected officials to raise academic achievement and ensure all students in the Halifax County Public Schools receive a Leandro-compliant "sound basic education". In addition to the academic challenges facing Halifax County Public Schools, the county is one of only a handful in the state that has one county school system and two smaller city school districts. These three systems (Halifax County Public Schools, Roanoke Rapids Graded School District and Weldon City Schools) are starkly divided by race (two majority black and one majority white). The Center, along with several community partners, has embarked on a multi-part strategy to improve educational quality and empower parents in Halifax County through trainings, advocacy and legal intervention.

Project Objectives

  • Inform students and parents about their rights, North Carolina education law, and the constitutional potential of Leandro v. State of North Carolina.
  • Provide information and resources to contribute to discussions about merger of the Halifax County, Weldon City, and Roanoke Rapids public schools.
  • Assist parents and community members with effective communications of their concerns to school administrators and officials at the local and state level.

Reports

May 9, 2011 | "Unless our Children Begin to Learn Together: The State of Education in Halifax County, NC"

A comprehensive analysis of the history, educational impacts and legal implications of maintaining three separate school districts in Halifax County, NC.

The primary focus of the report is the racial and educational disparities among the county's three school districts: Halifax County Public Schools (HCPS), Weldon City Schools (WCS) and Roanoke Rapids Graded School District (RRGSD). Examining history, educational data, and civil rights law, the report concludes that the maintenance of three separate, racially segregated school districts in Halifax County, North Carolina, is a continuing violation of the constitutional rights of all students and severely undermines the quality of public education throughout the county.

Following the release of this report, various community organizations have joined the Center in "Community Conversations" about racial isolation in rural schools, the reasons for maintaining three separate districts in Halifax County and the possibility of district unification. The Community Conversations provide the Center with opportunities to interact with those most impacted by the educational system in Halifax County and to collect feedback on the report.

Read the full report, the executive summary, and more updates.

Project Contact

Taiyyaba Qureshi

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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