LCS School Choice Lottery Completed

LCS School Choice Lottery Completed

The school choice lottery for the Leon County 2021 school year was completed on March 22. Leon High ranked the highest with 241 first choice requests. Lincoln High came in second for first choice picks with 157 hopefuls and Chiles High had 85 first choice requests.

The percentage of acceptance for the top three schools was quite low. Leon High granted only 13% of the 361 students who preferred to attend the school. From the 287 students who wanted to attend Lincoln High only 23% were accepted. While Chiles High allowed for 25% of the 155 total students. Godby High and Rickards High both granted over 50% of the students who chose to attend their schools.

In recent years, the school choice program has been a hotly debated topic in Leon County. Superintendent Rocky Hanna changed the program to a lottery system which allowed for students to select schools out of their zone based on capacity levels. The system was designed to keep costs down by largely eliminating new construction and the increase of portables to accommodate student’s past capacity. This sentiment was echoed by Hanna stating, “you can’t have an elementary school with 2,000 children, you just can’t.” 

A study released by the LeRoy Collins Institute in 2017 ranked Leon County as one of the most segregated school districts in the state. Hanna has gone on record stating that segregated school districts in Leon County was an “unintended consequence of school choice…kids with the means and transportation could go wherever they wanted and those without are where they are.” Though, under the current system put in place by Hanna, transportation still must be provided by parent/legal guardian.

5 Responses to "LCS School Choice Lottery Completed"

  1. People have a tendency to self segregate. Tallahassee is not unique in that respect, nor is it a result of Rocky Hanna. I like school choice, but I agree 100% that choice shouldn’t force a school to exceed capacity.

  2. I wish LCSD would use its pandemic and title 1 funds to extend school days for two periods and provide bus service home for Godby and Rickards. What that would do is allow for students to have both fun electives (hopefully with multiple options to get a work readiness credential including dual enrolled medical and computer and other careers), and the Avid and reading classes that many of them need too. It would also keep them involved at school doing positive things rather than on their own all afternoon. And it would give them space to graduate with an associates degree too if they chose. It also helps students get used to an 8.5 hour work day. Or maybe like one south fl high school does, has 8 periods (block schedule 4 a day) with one being a study hall (fully staffed with tutors) that everyone is required to take.

  3. The School system is pretty much segregated because People Live where they can afford to live. It really IS that simple. A school in a Low Income-Low Rent area will have those Kids attending it. Godby and Rickards are in those areas. If you build a brand new School on Jackson Bluff Road, the same Kids will be going there, not the Kids that live in Golden Eagle.

    I can only hope and pray that the kids growing up in those poor areas have Parents who really want them to do better in life and encourage them to do better so that they can prosper and move out of those areas. The problem is, it is usually the Parents telling their kids that they are not going to be better than what they are now, I’ve seen it. Every kid has the same chance at a better life, some just have to work a little harder than others.

    We shouldn’t need a School Lottery if we have the right Teachers teaching our Kids and we don’t over crowd the Class Rooms. There should not be more that 18 Kids in any Elementary Class, no more that 20 Kids in any Jr. High Class and no more that 24 Kids in any High School Class. Build more Classrooms, even if it has to be Portables. JUST DO IT.

  4. “School Choice Lottery” is oxymoronic. And I would expect nothing less from the Leon County School District.

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