Numbers don’t lie, but sometimes they can break your heart.
Seated at long tables facing one another, Board of Education and City Council members confronted their shared heartbreak and responsibility for the Asheville City Schools’ failure to adequately serve its African-American students. At the unusual joint meeting, held on Jan. 22 at Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer’s request, the district revealed that the disparity in the academic achievement of its black students compared to white students — already the worst in the state — has only grown larger since the district launched a new equity initiative in 2017, designed to narrow the gap.
The last time City Council held a joint meeting with members of the school board was Oct. 2, 2012. Council appoints representatives to the board, who serve four-year terms, but otherwise exercises no oversight of the system.