New Data Released on Poverty and Race in Wake Schools

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Mapping by the Record of new free and reduced lunch data released by the school system Tuesday reconfirms a stark divide in poverty levels from west to east across the county.

The data has been updated to reflect school demographics now that the controlled-choice assignment process has ended.


This map shows free and reduced lunch percentage for schools across the county for the 2012-2013 school year. Purple: greater than 75 percent; Red 50-74 percent; Yellow 25-49 percent; And green less than 25 percent. Click on the dots for more information by school.

Wake had released estimates of free and reduced lunch percentages for each school earlier in the year that showed a nearly identical trend. Previous mapping by the Record shows the trend has been well-defined since 2003-04, before explosive growth in the county and an increase in F&R students per capita.

See the spreadsheet on F&R data at the bottom of this story.

Aside from releasing post-choice F&R data, the school system also released updated demographic info on each school. See that spreadsheet at the bottom of this story.

Demographics percentages changed by more than 10 points at only two schools. The NCSU STEM Early College lost 15 percent of its black students and Hilburn Drive gained 13 percent more white students.

The data show that 18 schools have more than 70 percent of one demographic in school population. Six of those schools also increased their racial majority by more than 3 percent.

Wake highlighted changes of more than 3 percent in yellow and changes of more than 5 percent in red. Only 44 schools overall experienced such a significant shift.

Of the 18 schools with a 70 percent or greater racial majority, 16 have white majorities. Two schools have black majorities.

Sycamore Creek Elementary in Cary has the highest percentage of white students at 81.1 percent.

Bugg Magnet Elementary in downtown Raleigh has the highest percent of black students at 78.1 perecnt.


This map shows schools with a white majority in yellow and schools with a black majority in blue. Click on a marker to see the exact name of the school and percentage.

The school system also released data, which show seat availability at each of the districts schools. They released it in PDF form so the data is not searchable. We have requested the data in another form and will post it when we receive.

Ethnicity forecasts for the next year at Wake County schools. Data from WCPSS.

Forecast free and reduced lunch data at Wake schools. Data from WCPSS.


Seat Availability as of 052412 (Text)

3 thoughts on “New Data Released on Poverty and Race in Wake Schools

  1. These types of articles give me hope for the future of journalism. EXCELLENT coverage. Bravo!

  2. Thanks for doing the analysis on this. When you get the searchable data from WCPSS, could you perhaps at the same time post a pdf or jpg of the map you generated? I only see a regular map, and no shading with colors as I would expect from the image caption.

  3. So, lets just use the availability report from wake county. Let’s just pretend I am moving from any place in the world to inside the belt line in Raleigh and I have a kid starting kindergarden next year. So, I buy a $600,000 house near five point. It would make sense if my kid would go to the elementary school across the street, Daniels Middle School, Broughton HS. But, looking at the feeder pattern. Conn-80 kids (full), Joyner-62 kids (full), Root-92 kids (full), Stough-79 kids (full), Underwood-49 kids (full), Wiley-36 kids (full), York-96 kids (full). 488 kids and Daniels can hold 405! So, what about the next closest schools. Lacy, Olds, Combs, Brooks, Washington, Hunter, Poe, Bugg, Powell, Fuller, Walnut Creek, Millbrook, Brentwood Are FULL! The closest schools that have a seat are Hodge Road and Green. So, my kid would East Wake Middle, Knightdale HS or Durant Road Middle, Sanderson HS. So, I wonder how much I will be able to sell my $600,000 house after everyone else figures this out?