Raleigh parents take a walk in Wake assignment debate
Posted September 12, 2011
Updated September 13, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Parents in the Mordecai neighborhood of Raleigh who are concerned with the latest version of a student assignment plan for Wake County schools walked to a public feedback meeting at Broughton High Tuesday evening to show how close they live to the school.
The task force working on a plan for student assignment that filters all of Wake County's elementary students into middle and high schools close to home released an update to their plan on Monday after parents offered their feedback, Superintendent Tony Tata said. The latest version addresses many of parents' concerns, including prioritizing proximity and choice, he said.
But it also changed the Broughton feeder pattern, causing many parents who had counted on their children attending the high school to speak out at Tuesday's meeting.
The third draft of the plan sends Tannis Hillis' children to Southeast Raleigh High School.
"Broughton is right down here a mile or less," she said. "We want to know – what is the criteria?"
Mordecai resident Dan Aber said the assignments could affect property values.
"A lot of people are moving into the neighborhood because they know of the schools and the current base schools are desirable," Aber said.
Superintendent Tony Tata watched Hillis, Aber and about three dozen of their neighbors file into the meeting on foot.
"People want to go to school where they are vested and invested," he said. "I hear that."
Tata had good news for Mordecai families – they will be given two different assignment options and can choose to send their children to Broughton after all.
"It feels good," Hillis said. "It feels like we are being listened to."
She said she hopes the change will stick.
Tata plans to present a final plan to the Board of Education Oct. 4 after a series of parent feedback meetings.
The Broughton High meeting was the first, but parents will gather Wednesday at Sanderson High, 5500 Dixon Drive in Raleigh, and Thursday at East Wake High, 5101 Rolesville Road in Wendell. Both meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.
A final feedback meeting is scheduled Monday at Millbrook High School, 2201 Spring Forest Road in Raleigh.