Mar 3, 1:00 AM
A federal agency says Wake County can't use subsidized-lunch data to determine which schools students attend. That revelation could dim hopes for those who want to return to the county's old student-assignment policy, which relied on socioeconomic factors to balance enrollment. Wake had used data on students who get free and reduced-price lunches for more than decade to develop student assignment plans. But Mara McElmurray, a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child Nutrition Division, told Wake last month that the school-lunch data is confidential information that can't be used for student assignment purposes.