Knox County Parents Still Wait For Answers On School Transfers

By: Kelli Parker
By: Kelli Parker

Knoxville (WVLT) - No longer can race be a factor in a child being excepted or denied into a school. That's the Supreme Court's recent ruling leaving lots of questions for school leaders across the country, including in Knox County where more than 1,600 parents are waiting to see if their child's transfer request is a go.

Wednesday night, school leaders say parents may have to wait a while longer.

August eighth is less than a month away. That means back to school time for students in Knox County, but many students still don't know what school they'll be attending

"All transfers have been held, none have been sent out. Not even ones that have approved, not even the ones that have been approved," interim school superintendent Roy Mullins.

Superintendent Roy Mullins says they're holding the requests until the school board can determine if any of these children were approved or denied their transfers because of race.

"We're potentially impacting up to 1600 students or more so this is huge," school board member Dan Murphy said. "We have to consider the fact we had a group of students who applied for a transfer before the rulings group after the ruling."

"It's 1,600 people that's equivalent to the size of West High School," board member Sam Anderson said.

School board members are now trying to figure out how to change the language in their current transfer policy to align with the supreme court ruling.

"If they were approved for racial reasons or denied, it's all the same," Anderson said

And changing the language will also mean a change in transportation for many students. For instance, students currently enrolled in a magnet program or those involved in Project Grad would no longer be provided transportation based only on race.

"I'm not willing to deal with 1,600 parents calling me tomorrow morning because I didn't know whey were impacted," Anderson said.

One thing school leaders do agree on is they need more information before making the changes, leaving parents and students in limbo.

"We need to be sensitive to the children and parents can't hold them up until the day before school starts," Murphy said.

School board members say they plan on sending out a letter to parents explaining what's causing the hold up.

The board is planning to meet again on July 23rd to discuss what to do next.


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