Busing coming to Greenwich schools?

Despite huge sums spent on developing magnet schools in western Greenwich, Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon remain stubbornly non-white, and the state’s pissed. Now, our own town leaders seem ready to toss in the towel, save money and let the state redistrict us. Wanna see your real estate values go poof? Eliminate neighborhood schools.

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53 responses to “Busing coming to Greenwich schools?

  1. whatever

    what if we round up the illegals and move them out and then run the numbers again?

    where do we end up?

    • christopherfountain

      No question – western Greenwich has been invaded by illegal Mexican/Central Americans and we give their kids free schooling – fine – but now are expected to bus kids from Riverside to Byram to balance their numbers? Round them up, ship ’em home, says I.

  2. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    They get free food, too, even in the snow. Public servants make sure.

    http://www.thestate.com/166/story/1155901.html?storylink=omni_popular

    The point is, for all the cries about jobs Americans won’t do, this so-called source of cheap and willing labor is incredibly expensive. Illegals could not survive here without taxpayer subsidies.

  3. Chief Sachem

    Are Puerto Ricans Illegal? No, Citizens.

    Are Haitians, Guatemalans, or Salvadorenos illegal? No, they’re protected guest classes.

    So what nationalities you plannin to round up, and how you gonna get em back north of the border, where they’ll be legal again?

    • christopherfountain

      I’ve never heard the term “protected guest classes”, Chief so feel free to enlighten us. Every country I ever visited has had immigration restrictions – while living in Greece, for instance, I had to report in to the authorities every few months to extend my visa – I wasn’t officially allowed to work but I did, occasionally, under the table (you do that at 18). But I never dreamed of showing up for medical treatment at the expense of Greek taxpayers, let alone spawn children and let the Greeks educate, feed, house and clothe them.
      Same thing in Switzerland, but that was then, this is now, and this is Obama America. We’re chumps.

  4. xyzzy

    Enlighten me? Why do we have to do anything the state says? Are they going to send in the military?

    • christopherfountain

      Damn good question, XYZZY – they can’t cut off state aid because they don’t give us any – to the contrary, we fund them – so maybe we should just say screw ’em. I like it.

  5. g-mom

    I have never understood where they expect to get magnet students from. Glenville has a new facility so no one districted there is knocking down doors to go elsewhere. The next closest school is JC, which is also a magnet. In fact, I know several non-minority families in HAS and NL’s area that send their kids to JC or Dundee as magnet students.

    ISD and NL should become one IB school. K-2 at one location and 3-5 at the other. It would mean busing but the advantages would balance out the busing costs and by consolidating the grades better, you could probably save on a teacher or two.

    Do the same thing with JC and HAS – mix them up make it a foreign language and science magnet. Since they are both more then one story, you could alternate grades, K, 2 and 4 at JC and 1, 3 and 5 at HAS so all the younger kids get a first floor classroom.

    The rest of us can stay neighborhood based.

  6. InfoDiva

    Chris, can you enlighten me and explain why real estate advertising in this town always makes a point of touting “North Street School” when a house is in that district?

  7. FlyAngler

    I grew up in Yonkers and went through the public school system there graduating in 1978. Judge Sands, in an effort to “solve” a decades-long segregation issue in Yonkers instituted bussing.

    The problems this caused are legion and you can read more with a little bit of Google searching. Kids that lived a literal stone’s throw from schools were put on buses to spend 45 minutes to ride to the other side of town. It had an incredible impact on the kids as it cut into their ability to participate in after-school activities. While some parents could drive across town to pick up a sports-playing kid after practice. However, kids whose parents either worked or did not have cars were not afforded the opportunities as they HAD to be on the buses at the scheduled time or risk being left behind.

    The effort certainly led to more diversification in the schools. In 1978 my HS was about 15% “non-white” but reached 65% in the late 1990s. Similar “mix shifts” happened all over Yonkers, a city with five high schools. Unfortunately, that did little to improve the education of those being moved around as other problems that have a bearing on kids’ educations. (low income, single-family homes, latch-key kids, drug use in the household) did not change with the schools.

    Several years ago, a study found that the $11mm the city spent on busses every year would have been better spent investing in the schools and keeping the kids local. Instead, the “solution” spread the problems across the city equally, hindered many kids’ ability to participate in activities or sports and brought down the overall education ranking of Yonkers relative to its county peers. Most depressingly, my high school went from being the best in the City to nearly the worst.

    Someone should look deeper into the Yonkers’ experience for a real-world view of the efficacy of mandated school bussing.

  8. InfoDiva

    Gosh, and I thought steering was against the law.

  9. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    C, Chief Sachem is not completely off the mark. Just like the mobile phone advertisements (there’s an app for that!), the visa programs in the US are more numerous than people realize. Got a problem in your home country? There’s a visa for that! So, for example, if your country has been subject to some sort of natural disaster, like earthquake or volcano, you can be in the US on TPS (temporary protected status). It’s also been done for people in El Salvador who claim they’re trying to escape gang persecution, etc. Right now, we have Haitian students on TPS filing into classrooms in Florida.

    Except TPS, in most cases, is rarely temporary. Once here, many seek to extend their stay, permanently.

  10. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    “Why do we have to do anything the state says? Are they going to send in the military?”

    Worse. They send in the lawyers. And the po’-leece.

  11. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    Too bad people can’t push for “opt-out” legislation, enabling them to opt-out of education taxes if they send their children to private schools or home-school.

  12. A.O.

    I think the entire country is climbing on board the “screw ’em” mentality – finally!

  13. Anonymous

    Blame the sanctified small businessmen who employ illegals…and the consumers who seek lowest cost labor/goods, likely aware how the nominal costs are so low, much like “cheap” stolen goods for sale on ebay

    Taxpayer ultimately subsidizes these fully loaded costs imposed by small business and price-fixated consumers

  14. xyzzy

    Last time I saw anything on this busing idea that people who were most upset about it were the familes at Julian Curtis who didn’t want to be bused somewhere else.

    Just shows you how dumb the state is, going to go by the book rather than what is best for students.

  15. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    That’s it in a nutshell, Anonymous. Wish I had your talent for brief summarization.

    Income and property taxes are tools of social engineering and need abolished.

  16. South of Village

    If a town is redistricted by force, then the magnet school subsidy should be be retrenched immediately. They can’t have their cake and eat it to.

  17. Chief Sachem

    Suggest you loiter outside Hamilton Ave. School and spot check. (I’ll bail you out, later.)

    Or, Mr Attorney, file and FOI request with the School Board to check the percentage of illegals.

    or consider:

    NYTimes: Haitians Illegally in U.S. Given Protected Status
    Published: January 15, 2010
    The Obama administration extended a special immigration status on Friday to Haitians living illegally in the United States that protects them from deportation for 18 months and allows them to work here.

    Austin Chronicle:
    Special Immigration Status Extended for Some Central Americans
    Cheryl Smith Fri May 11, 11:15am , 2007
    “The extension is part of the Administration’s ongoing assistance to Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador in recovering from natural disasters that have affected Central America,” reads the release, which quotes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez as saying, “Although Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador have made significant progress in their recovery and rebuilding efforts, each country continues to face social and economic challenges in their efforts to restore their nations to normalcy.” As part of the Immigration Act of 1990, Congress established TPS for people living in the U.S. “who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions,” says the Web site of USCIS, an arm of the DHS.

  18. Red

    Interesting that they ran this story during the public school winter break, when lots of families are travelling elsewhere…..

    I am troubled by the comments of those who might equate “non-white” with “illegal”. If 25% of the population of Greenwich is non-Caucasian now, it does not mean the town is 25% illegal or freeloading or in need of deportation.

  19. Resident

    InfoDiva,

    Location, Location, Location.

  20. Cos Cobber

    I have to seriously consider moving if the state steps in and forces a redistricting. I can telecomute my job or screw the environment and drive in from afar. Anyway, these are our community schools. My decision to live here was influenced heavily on my desire for my children to attend a school 1/2 mile from the house and in a neighborhood where most of the kids are familiar with each other from school. The town has made a reasonable effort to rebalance the schools by opening enrollment and adding sweetners. That should be enough.

  21. Cos Cobber

    We need to mobilize a fight. I dont have applicable expertise to lend, but I am willing to put up some coin.

  22. Old School Grump

    Geez, if I still lived in Greenwich, I’d be furious. But maybe the more surprising thing is that this didn’t happen earlier. Fed, state and local governments have long been full of people who make their living off the proposition that the “more fortunate” can be legally commanded to raise the lot of the “less fortunate” not only through taxes but through utterly artificial social engineering projects such as this.

    As gov’t budgetary problems mount, and bureaucrats and elected representatives can no longer deliver services at the levels the “less fortunate” demand, they’re gonna have to demonize someone to take the heat off themselves. I’ll bet the town of Greenwich can look forward to many, many more accusations that it “doesn’t share well.”

  23. Anonymous

    you should note that there is ZERO evidence that busing improves the educational achievement OR social development of any of the kids… no benefit for the kids who are on the buses, no benefit for the kids who now can meet ‘diverse’ friends, nada. but this is another liberal belief that is immune to analysis.

  24. Jane

    Chris:

    Any one able to run the numbers taking into consideration the locations of the public assistance facilities? That has to play into this in some manner.

  25. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    “I am troubled by the comments of those who might equate “non-white” with “illegal”. ”

    No need to be troubled. The readers on this blog are intelligent enough to know the difference.

    • christopherfountain

      Ex-Pat, you haven’t been here for awhile, but trust me on this – Byram is filled with illegals, 10 to a house, and their kids are now our responsibility. Which I really don’t have a problem with; they’re here, let’s do well by them and for us. But, while everyone knows it, no one seems to talk about it – except here, in the pc-free zone!

  26. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    Chief, I took the liberty of clarifying all that with a link to the government info. The term is “Temporary Protected Status”, not “protected guest classes”. It did create a bit of confusion.

  27. Hu Nhu?

    Relax, Richard Blumenthal will solve this problem in a jiffy.

  28. prosperityfollowsdynamite

    CF- The seminal work on this subject is J. Anthony Lukas’ Common Ground, which details busing in early 1970’s Boston. I read it at BC(yes, I’m a fellow alum) and highly recommend it. The gist is this:MY WAY IS THE ONLY RIGHT WAY liberals and judges force poor black kids from Roxbury and Mattapan to attend crappy white kid schools in Southie and Charlestown. And vice versa. Mayhem (not surprisingly) ensues. Of course, it never occurs to same liberals(conveniently) to bus both groups to good white schools in the suburbs like Newton and Brookline where their own children attend. That inconvenience might have adjusted their social agenda that they so vehemently forced on others.

  29. Accolay

    Cos Cobber,
    Totally agree with you (for the first time???), but it seems like other FC towns, like Fairfield, with a diversified population, are having similar problems. You’d probably have to move to Weston to have a more homogeneous student pop that won’t have a threatened neighborhood school set-up, and I wouldn’t call Weston the most neighborhood-friendly town.

  30. Stanwich

    Cf, you are right. I was looking at multi-families in the western end of town a few years ago as an investment. I was shocked to visit several older homes illegally run like boarding houses with padlocks on individual bedrooms, shared bathrooms, etc. All of this in plain view of prospective buyers and agents to see all day long. There should be a mandatory reporting requirement for agents belonging to the MLS to report such egregious infractions.

    All of this aside, I think there would be a revolution in Town if redistricting were imposed. Our entire residential real estate market is based on in large part on community schools. I think you would see Town officials pursuing/appealing any adverse decision to the highest possible court venue with the distinct possibility of creating new precedents along the way (in our favor of course).

  31. whatever

    no one is calling anyone illegal who isn’t. don’t hear what you want to hear just hear what is being said or written.

    if they are illegal move em out

    illegal does not insinuate non-white. illegal has no ethnic background however, it does happen to be the case that in western greenwich the minority is of hispanic descent or so it seems.

    are they all illegal? I don’t think so. Are some? most likely. There are supposedly 12 million illegals in this country and I am sure some reside in western greenwich

    let’s not pretend….

  32. whatever

    Anonymous,

    liberals do not want to know what doesn’t work nor do they want to believe that their ideas aren’t the best.

    hard core facts are for morons…ideologies that continue to fail are what they are after

  33. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    C, I don’t doubt you. Don’t know where you got that impression. I was merely clarifying Sachem’s inaccurate choice of terminology, more for Sachem’s edification than yours. I shouldn’t have addressed the remark to you. Bygones.

    I do have a problem with subsidizing dependency, poverty, and businesses that feed off of that sort of thing, like building and Big Aggie.

  34. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    “I think there would be a revolution in Town if redistricting were imposed.”

    You’d think so, but look what happened to Westchester:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/11/nyregion/11settle.html

    “This is consistent with the president’s desire to see a fully integrated society,” said Ron Sims

    Greenwich/Fairfield County is the next stop.

  35. KT

    Stats for schools across the country are on http://www.schooldigger.com Ethnicity, free lunch, test scores, etc. going back to late ’80s

    Greenwich http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CT/city/Greenwich/search.aspx

  36. Chief Sachem

    Guest worker is a different category.

    Chief stands corrected. But there are plenty of visas for that.

  37. Cos Cobber

    Accolay, I’ll try not to be aggreable beyond this issue.

    So I dont know where I would go. Might have to consider the great west. I’m fond of Park City Utah.

    Locally, perhaps I have to go with North Stamford and pony up for private school (hey, if private school is good enough for Obama’s kids…) as this crosstown busing issue might hit multiple towns. Weston, Ridgefield, Wilton yada-yada are fine, but I kind of have this new urbanism feeling that if I am going to live in a suburban environment, I want it to be a walkable one. Sadly, I am certainly not looking for homogeneity, I appreciate the surprisingly diverse environment of greenwich. Unfortunately, cross town busing will indeed force me to consider a town with good schools that is not threaten by this issue and we all know what those towns look like.

    Its my total disgust with this concept that has me considering leaving the state all together.

    I hate the notion that I am going to have to look at towns and decide if cross town busing is in their future. What a terrible way to evaluate communities.

  38. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    “hey, if private school is good enough for Obama’s kids…”

    Precisely. And, if people send their kids to private school, they should get a tax credit or reduction for that.

  39. Chief Sachem

    Okay, CF, I have to call you on this one.

    $10 for every western Greenwich address with one, two or three family status on the tax card, with 10 illegals in the house paying rent, or covered as “family” under a lease.

    Simple metric…send me your list.

    “illegal” means resident of Greenwich without permission to live or work here. US Citizens don’t count, of course.

    Your list will be confidential. The audit results will be published.

  40. The "poor kids" go there

    If every child has to be bussed to another part of the district, then the only solution would be to bus all children to one central school. How long will that take to build? CF could be in charge of finding a suitable site, slowly.

    Info Diva,
    My child got ten dollars stolen from the “poor kids club” (no cameras). If North Street school have eradicated lunch money being stolen, is it because they have already installed the closed circuit cameras there? Surely that is a good selling point for realtors to highlight?

  41. Anonymous

    why do we have to comply with this retarded and arbitrary social engineering requirement?
    what does it have to do with educating the kids?

    state intervention and/or busing = causus belli

  42. Old School Grump

    “poor kids” at 5:54:

    We moved away from Greenwich way back in 1998, and even way back then I recall reading that the average (maybe median?) house price in the North Street school district was $1 million. Kinda explains why, as CF put it, “North Street school is code for your kid not getting mugged for his lunch money.”!

  43. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    You nailed it, Grump. Which is why I kind of snort when people get their boxers in a wad about “racism”. There’s only one color that matters anymore, and that’s the long green.

  44. ill-logical

    Two points which never seem to come into the redistricting discussion:
    1) why do we even try to define race in the 21st century? Tiger Woods’ children are Chinese, Thai, Native American, Afro American, Dutch, caucasians. Does the school board flip a coin to decide how to categorize them?
    2) Greenwich has only one high school, ergo all the “races” are together by the time they are teenagers. Calculating percentages at 11 elementary schools whose populations range from 225 to 474 students is nuts. If only 8 families of 3 kids each moves in a given year, the ratio could switch by over 10%.

  45. Cos Cobber

    Actually my household is one of these nouveau mixed race creations. for the moment we refuse to check race boxes. we dont understand the point.

    oh wait, come to think of it, does this mean that because my kids are could be classified as being a so-called ‘minority’ that they are exempt from possible cross-town bussing? wow, this is so absurd.

    so I guess I don’t have to worry about this issue, its just a problem for my neighbor’s kids.

    however, since we aren’t fond of the race card at our house, we’ll probably continue to ignore race boxes and put ourselves at risk for cross town bussing. won’t the admin staff be surprised when my “minority” kids show up at new leb or hamilton ave.

    as mixed race america continues to grow, isn’t obvious these type of endeavors are ridiculous?

    the state should limit their investigation to confirm that between the racially imbalanced and other schools within a town that i) spending is the same between schools and ii) that the quality of the teaching and staffing is the same. That is a measurement and concern I can appreciate. Beyond that its social engineering to the highest magnitude.