Wake County Schools

Tata reassures real estate agents about assignment plan

Posted December 16, 2011

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— Wake County schools Superintendent Tony Tata met Friday with local real estate agents to answer questions they have about how the district will soon be assigning students.

The new student assignment plan, which will go into effect in the fall, gives parents more input into what schools their children attend.

But the school board's move to replace the longstanding policy of busing students for purposes of diversity has drawn protests from the NAACP, a number of community groups and residents who believe the change will lead to re-segregation, high teacher turnover and a lower quality of education for low-income students.

Real estate agents and local business owners say they are worried about what that perception might mean for people and companies relocating to Wake County.

"Nobody knows. This is kind of brand new, and we are very anxious to see what's going to happen in this next year," said Stacy Anfindsen, president-elect of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, which invited Tata to speak Friday.

"If it doesn't work, we'll know right away," Anfindsen said. "I think if it does work – and I am hopeful that it will work – it will be a smooth transition."

Gwendolyn Smith said she attended the meeting because she wanted to be able to answer the many client questions she gets.

"That is a big concern for a lot of parents," Smith said. "They want to know what's going to happen with the school system, and now with more information, I can help them."

Tata told the group that, after talking with education consultant and choice model expert Michael Alves, he believes the new plan will help the local market.

"What he sees is that a choice plan actually helps home values, because all schools work hard to be high-demand schools," Tata said.

Tata says the new plan will bring more stability, eliminating forced reassignment that parents complained about for years.

"I like what I heard today," Smith said. "Initially, I wasn't sure about it, because I didn't have enough information. But (with) what I heard today, I think I can transfer over to my clients to help them make the right choice."

School selection begins in mid-January, and the school system is urging anyone with rising kindergarteners to register their children, so they will be ready to enter the choice process.

6 Comments

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  • Rico Dec 19, 2011

    "What he sees is that a choice plan actually helps home values, because all schools work hard to be high-demand schools," Tata said.

    What about the children!! For Gods sake will someone think of the children!!

  • Parah Salin Dec 16, 2011

    I wonder how much the real estate agent was paid who got the Wake County School Board to abandon the building they own already to put a long term lease on a high priced fancy building in Cary.

  • geosol Dec 16, 2011

    Real estate agents are SO RELIEVED now that the little right wingers have been kicked out after their short reign in trying to destroy the Wake Co. schools. Our property values have increased, too, as a result. DO NOT VOTE FOR PEOPLE (REPUBLICANS) WHO WANT TO GET RID OF PUBLIC EDUCATION!!! It's bad for business!!

  • bombayrunner Dec 16, 2011

    "... a number of community groups and residents who believe the change will lead to re-segregation, high teacher turnover and a lower quality of education for low-income students."

    And all due to bussing, thats a stretch. Folks with these concerns also appear to depend on them. Where would the NAACP be without these problems? they'd invent them if they didn't exist. Always complaints and not solutions these race baiters.

  • Nancy Dec 16, 2011

    No real estate agent informed us about the school node shuffle when we were house hunting, from out of state.

    I'm glad they're going to talk to their clients, maybe.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 16, 2011

    If real estate agents want to be honest, they should tell their clients the best choice is home school or private school. If they send their kid off to public school, then they deserve what they get.