Enrollment caps mean some Wake students don't attend closest school
Posted March 24
Wake Forest, N.C. — Moving into a home near a good school in Wake County doesn't mean children will get to go to that school.
Because of rapid growth in recent years, the Wake County Public School System has capped enrollment at 15 schools, meaning students who would normally attend those schools aren't guaranteed seats there.
Sabina Kules recently moved to Wake Forest from Chicago, and she said the schools in the area were a big consideration in choosing a neighborhood.
"That's what they told us, moving to this subdivision is going to guarantee the Heritage school," Kules said Friday.
But enrollment at Heritage High School was capped in 2015 – five years after the school opened – so students whose families have moved into the fast-growing Heritage subdivision since then often find themselves attending Wake Forest High School.
"It does come to a surprise to some people. We understand that. Our school board understands that," school district spokesman Matt Dees said.
District enrollment has jumped by 20,000 students since 2009-10, Dees said.
"We are building schools as fast as we can to keep up, but it is a challenge," he said.
Voters approved a $810 million bond in 2013 to help fund school construction and expansions. Six schools opened this year, three more will open in 2017-18, followed by another five, including two high schools, in 2018-19.
Dees said the building plan means enrollment caps will be lifted at five elementary schools next year.
As a real estate agent, Miranda Pace said she was aware of the Heritage High enrollment cap when she moved to the Heritage area, but she isn't concerned about it.
"The schools overall are very good in Wake County, so even if you are not getting your first choice, there are very good second and third choices as well," Pace said.