Wake school board to vote on community-schools plan

Posted February 26, 2010
Updated February 27, 2010

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Board of Education will take a vote Tuesday on a resolution to base student assignment on community schools, chairman Ron Margiotta said Friday.

One of the agenda items set to be discussed during the board’s regularly-scheduled public meeting would establish a board directive for the establishment of community-based assignments.

The board meets first in the Committee of the Whole at noon at the Administration Building, 3600 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. That meeting is followed by an open session at 3 p.m. will stream live, full video from both meetings for those who can not attend.

Currently, the school district assigns students so that no school has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Students are reassigned each year to maintain that level, as well as to fill new schools and relieve overcrowding.

At least five of the school board's nine members have indicated that they plan to end the practice, which can involve busing students to schools farther from their homes, in favor of neighborhood schools.

Board members who support the policy say changing the current plan in favor of neighborhood schools would disrupt diversity at schools.

Tuesday promises to be a busy day for the board. They are scheduled first to take up the issue of Superindent Del Burns’ contract in closed session at 10 a.m.

Burns told the board Feb. 16 that he would resign effective June 30. He criticized members of the new board majority – accusing them of "partisan political gamesmanship," and expressed concerns about some of the policy changes that the new board majority has made or wants to implement.

Board member John Tedesco questioned whether Burns could continue to be effective, saying, "If you can't do your job, what do I need you around for the next four months for?"

The board met about Burns for more than an hour Feb. 23 but did not change his status.

The other hot topic before the board, the conversion of year-round schools to a traditional calendar, is also on the agenda for Tuesday.

In December, the board voted to end the assumption that new schools would follow a year-round calendar and to consider converting some year-round schools to the traditional calendar. That move was followed by a poll of parents and a series of community meetings to gather feedback on school schedules.

The board will hear more research on the proposed calendar change during the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, and it could act on that information during the later meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting will feature a period of public comment beginning at 4 p.m., according to the published agenda.


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  • superman Mar 1, 2010

    To those who support community schools -- get ready for trailers, a law suit and more reassignments. I hope the board members will gather first and have some Kool-Aid. And to members of the school board, dont forget the county commissioners control the purse along with the tax payers.

    Nancy, I guess you know just how many students will live where in the next 3 to 5 years. Thats how long it takes to build a new school-- that is if they already have the money available. Predicting enrollment in the years to come is like trying to say what the weather will be like in the future. And least you forget the previous bond before the last one did not pass the voters. You can plan all you want-- but there has to be money to back up your plans.

  • 5-113 FA Retired Feb 26, 2010

    Dear Just Brain,

    Actually, I'm in here strictly for the entertainment value provided by the self-proclaimed intelluctials like yourself. If your comment is intended to make me feel bad, I;ll satisfy your ill will and say yes, it did, but not really. Since you were bullied in school, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    My work here is done. Ta Da!

  • Nancy Feb 26, 2010

    "To those supporting 'community schools' get ready for trailers."

    I guess you haven't seen a brand new school open WITH trailers in place in Wake County? I have, more than once.

    Poor planning is poor planning and the old board was famous for it. Just like many YR schools not operating with all 4 tracks, total waste.

  • Nancy Feb 26, 2010

    Since WRAL is all about promoting diversity, it's no wonder they don't provide a balanced bit of news on this topic. Such a shame too, the kids deserve better.

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Feb 26, 2010

    "$15.4 million has already been wasted."

    No, it hasn't. That is the estimated cost of changing sites for H6. That includes an "estimate" of something like 10 million for 2 years of trailers.

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Feb 26, 2010

    "Wake schools are nationally recognized...."

    Yes. For low test scores and high dropout rates.

    They are recognized by other educational left-wingers for the diversity policy, NOT FOR ANY SORT OF MEASURABLE ACADEMIC SUCCESS.

    If you have some facts to dispute that, I would LOVE to see them.

  • rescuefan Feb 26, 2010

    Well said Just Brian!

  • just brian Feb 26, 2010

    Broken Arrow- Congratulations. You have just resorted to name calling when disagreeing with someone. That accomplished alot didn't it?

    Let's talk about kids since the board doesn't.

    Doesn't the board at least owe us research into the long term affects of policy change? We should be demanding it.

    Wake schools are nationally recognized, add to our home values and to our quality of life.

    This board is answering to parents who know NOTHING about education. Let the EDUCATORS make the decisions on how to run the schools.

    Chair Ron doesn't even have a college degree and I should trust his decision for my child's education?

    Chris Malone was a one term town commissioner in Wake Forest becuase he didn't study the long term impact of his decisions.

    These are not educators. They should not be making decisions on my kids' education.

    $15.4 million has already been wasted. Can't we at least get them to take a longer look before making such an important decision?

  • seankelly15 Feb 26, 2010

    To those supporting 'community schools' get ready for trailers.

  • 5-113 FA Retired Feb 26, 2010


    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For not disappointing us with your left handed political wit! I was wondering when some numb-skull would inteject their twisted spew into a forum with no references whatsoever.

    Actually, I was just about to blame it all on Bush because he was inebriated for dang-near 70% of his terms as king of the world when you chimed in with your in-depth observation.

    Thank you!