Wake County Schools

Wake school board OKs plan to fix transportation shortfall

Posted May 15, 2012
Updated May 16, 2012

— The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to accommodate the transportation needs of 470 students who chose not to switch to a new school provided by the choice-based assignment plan and to, instead, be grandfathered into their old school.

In a 6-3 vote, the board approved a measure to provide transportation to those students if at all possible or to offer them a seat at a school closer to home. Wake County Public School System Wake County schools coverage

"Children need the opportunity to be transported to school," said board Chair Kevin Hill.

The transportation policy for pre-assigned students now reads: "WCPSS shall provide transportation, when it can be provided with adjustments to existing routes, to all rising sixth and ninth grade students currently receiving district transportation who are pre-assigned without transportation for 2012-13 school year or offer that student a seat in one of the schools on his/her proximity choice list with transportation."

Board members Christine Kushner, Susan Evans and Jim Martin voted against the resolution because, they said, it doesn't go far enough to promise transportation for every student in the school system.

"This is their assignment. (For us) to say we will not provide transportation is unacceptable," Evans said.

Martin pointed out that 80 percent of the 470 students in question are from the district's lowest-performing nodes. 

John Tedesco agreed with Martin that the students affected are from the some of the highest need areas, but said that mandating school system staff to provide buses to every student regardless of assignment would be too costly. Wake school board OKs plan to fix transportation shortfall Wake school board OKs plan to fix transportation shortfall

"We need to do everything we can for these kids," he said. "I do not think we need to mandate it with a $2-million price tag."

Martin argued that the costs of transporting all students should have been considered when the new plan was developed.

Superintendent Tony Tata, however, jumped to the plan's defense and pledged that "we will take care of every kid on this list."

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  • superman May 17, 9:02 a.m.

    Fifth graders could do better on the school board than the current members. They did this plan without any regard as to how it would affect busing and school programs as well as federal funding. You cant change one thing without research on how it will affect the whole package. Seems that the cost of transporation just continues to escalute.

  • nativetxn May 16, 2:45 p.m.

    I'm confused. Are we talking about students who are grandfathered into their current school or about rising 6th and 9th graders who are moving up to middle and high school? These are not the same things.

  • working for deadbeats May 16, 2:01 p.m.

    I moved out of Wake County and this was one of the reasons. I'm no farther from work and my taxes are the same for a house twice as big.

  • Honesty first May 16, 11:41 a.m.

    Many ran for the school board on a promise to move to commuity or neighborhood schools. They lied because what we have now is not community schools. We have increased busing, overcrowed schools and the refusal to let kids go to the school whose district they live in. People are not looking to move to Wake county due to this fiasco. Realtors in other counties (Johnston, Orange) are saying move here and you will know which school your kids will go to when you buy or lease a house.

  • 2xMom May 16, 11:04 a.m.

    Hmm, I seem to remember that the plan said students would be provided transportation to their school of choice? I was curious at the time how that was going to work. Guess the answer is "it's not".

  • casp3r May 16, 10:59 a.m.

    This is all just nonsense...

  • rroadrunner99 May 16, 10:50 a.m.

    And they touted their community schools plan as the fix all plan that Wake County needed, look's like Wake Co. really needed this new plan doesn't it! Sound's to me that there is going to be as much or more busing as there was before.

  • bill0 May 16, 8:47 a.m.

    "said that mandating school system staff to provide buses to every student regardless of assignment would be too costly. "

    Tedesco, It's your plan!!! If it was too costly to run your plan, maybe you should have thought about that before the assignment process began. Instead, he refused to even consider trying to attach a price tag to the changes. Guess why? Because he knew darn well that giving kids the choice of numerous schools was going to result in busing cost increases. If you have multiple buses going to pick up kids in a single neighborhood, of course that will be more expensive.