Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | Ms. Herron-Fox might be glad to end magnet busing to increase the number of students at Kearny High Schools, which historically have been under-enrolled, but that actually would be a tremendous loss for many other San Diego families whose children are bused in order to participate in magnet school “choice.” Ending bus transportation to magnet schools would effectively end magnet schools.

Magnet schools were developed many years ago to offer special-focus academic programs that would draw a socio-economic and racial cross-section of students from all geographic areas of the city. Magnet schools and district-provided transportation were among several strategies devised, under federal court supervision, to end de facto racial segregation in San Diego. San Diego Unified’s only arts high school is a very successful magnet — the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) — and it would be devastated by the loss of busing.

When the court order was lifted in the 1990’s, the district remained obligated to honor the spirit of the court’s rulings and direction, and the district is still obligated to do so, contrary to Board member Shelia Jackson’s assertion that busing in a budget crisis must be “on the table.”

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