It depends on your perspective.
Staff produced a series of tables showing, in a nutshell, that a student was much more likely to be accepted into a magnet program if her base school was crowded. This is by design, since the system tries to use its capacity efficiently, but you do have a lower chance of acceptance if your child's base school is not crowded.
The tables did not show that applicants from schools with high FRL were turned away in greater numbers than others. Acceptance rates were similar whether the applicant’s base school was high in poverty or not. Thus nonpoor magnet applicants attending a base school with high FRL are not at a systematic disadvantage unless their school is also not crowded.
Jennifer Mansfield recently pointed out to me that prior to 2010-2011, the FRL percentage of a student's node and base school did bear on her likelihood of admission to a magnet, so that there was an additional basis upon which to question the fairness of the magnet application process. This issue is treated at great length on her blog, which is styled Voice for Equity and is generally an extended critique of WCPSS's diversity and magnet policies and mandatory year-round schools.
Last updated on October 24, 2010 by Neil Riemann