Seattle schools adopt neighborhood-based placement plan


Author: Daniel Himebaugh

Beginning next fall, Seattle Public Schools will return to a neighborhood-based system for assigning students to schools, according to the Seattle Times.  Students can still apply to any school in the district, but placement preference will go to those students who live within each school's geographic boundaries.

It will not be lost on our readers that PLF successfully participated in litigating Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.  In that case, the Court invalidated Seattle's student assignment plan that used students' race as a tie-breaking factor in determining placement in oversubscribed high schools.

Seattle Schools' new student assignment system seems to be moving in the direction of Chief Justice Roberts' conclusion in Parents Involved: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."