Huntsville superintendent responds to DOJ rezoning plan - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Huntsville superintendent responds to DOJ rezoning plan

Huntsville Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski responded to the Department of Justice's motion opposing the school system's rezoning plan. Huntsville Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski responded to the Department of Justice's motion opposing the school system's rezoning plan.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski responded to the Department of Justice's motion opposing the school system's rezoning plan.

The DOJ filed the motion in federal court Wednesday and presented a plan of their own.

At a news conference Thursday, Wardynski responded to the filing, saying there are errors with their filing, both factual and legal.

The school board already approved Wardynski's plan and school leaders filed that plan in federal court. The DOJ opposed the district's rezoning plan, which would close several schools and build new ones.

The DOJ said Huntsville's plan does not integrate the schools to the extent possible, despite what the district claims in its motion, saying, "The district's plan would make enrollment changes at 32 of its 40 schools, but despite these large-scale changes, the district's plan would leave most students in segregated schools and in some cases, assign them to even more segregated educational environments.

"Further," said the DOJ, "students at schools identifiable as black schools would continue to lack equitable access to the array of advanced courses and science/technology programs available at schools identifiable as white."

"My focus is on children, not talking endlessly to the United States government," Wardynski said at the news conference.

"The difference between our plan and their plan, essentially, is that we provided a plan. In their plan, they provide some zones that make reference back to our zones. But they critiqued our AP enrollment in several instances and the way we allocate and enroll students in AP, but they offered no plan. Therein lies the reasons we ceased negotiations. We were negotiating with ourselves," Wardynski continued.

Read a 27-page summary included with the DOJ's filing here (PDF).

Dr. Wardynski said they are already working to make changes to the statements made regarding AP classes and Magnet programs. Thursday, the district hired a consultant to help with improving the Magnet program at Johnson High (to become the new Jemison High), and growing the programs at New Century and Lee High School.

Huntsville City Schools will send a formal reply to the judge about this court filing by March 10.

View a copy of Huntsville City School's Thursday presentation here.

Huntsville isn't the only school system in this situation. Several North Alabama systems are under desegregation orders and trying to get out of them.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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