As the superintendent of the Davenport Community School District, I wanted to share a few thoughts regarding the pending HSB64 legislation, which renders us incapable of carrying out voluntary diversity plans. Diversity plans do not abolish open enrollment out. Rather, they work to balance open enrollment out, to discourage economic departure. Not allowing a district to implement a voluntary diversity, or desegregation, could inflict a negative impact upon the DCSD demographically, educationally, and fiscally. The current voluntary diversity policy is in effect for 5 districts within the State of Iowa, Davenport, Burlington, Des Moines, Waterloo, and Postville.
Each year, Davenport Community School District offers voluntary transfers within our district. This ensures that students have a choice in which schools they wish to attend. However, analysis of open enrollment out requests show that they are slanted toward students from families with high socio-economic status. If our ability to balance open enrollment requests is removed, we will become less diverse, with adverse socio-economic percentages. We are continually striving to improve the economic status of our school district and the community. We are proud of the efforts of our schools to place students on strong, reliable career paths – in such fields as manufacturing, engineering, computer science, health care, and more. The stability that we are working so hard to build within our district may be disrupted should the pending legislation pass.
Moving forward with HSB64 legislation will bring additional challenges in an already challenging time. However, our district team is confident in our ability to continue offering real-world demographics and experiences in the Davenport Community School District.
T.J. Schneckloth, Superintendent
Davenport Community School District