Wake County Schools

More weigh in on Wake student assignment

Posted June 21, 2012

— Lynn Stellings, a local real estate agent with Fonville-Morisey, always knows the first question she will get from any family looking to relocate to Wake County: "Where will my child go to school?"

"It is the most important factor in making a decision on a home, and unfortunately, I cannot tell them anymore," she said.

Stellings says that it is not because of recent discussions to revisit the student assignment plan again, but it's because people moving to the area are finding that the schools they are interested in have no room for new students, at least as the plan currently stands.

"Newcomers do not trust the Wake County Public School System," she said.

The plan has also presented some problems for people looking to sell homes. For example, she says, one client decided not to sell because he already knew that the schools in his area were full and was worried that that would deter buyers.

That's part of the reason that the school board this week voted 5-4 to revisit the barely year-old plan for the 2013-14 school year and to integrate elements of the previous longstanding student assignment plan into it.

Steve Parrott, president of Wake Education Partnership – a group of business leaders working to better public education – says he agrees with studying ways to improve the controlled-choice plan, but he doesn't want the school board to rush to judgment in selecting a plan based solely on addresses.

"We have a concern about simply saying, 'This is where you would be assigned based on your address,'" he said. "The fine print may have to say 'to the extent there are seats available.'"

Student assignment More weigh in on Wake student assignment

Parrott says it's important to not drastically change the foundation of the plan from year to year.

"If we begin making changes before we have even implemented it, we are concerned about it," he said.

Marrio Harris, a father of two, says he just wants consistency.

"It's a little frustrating, aggravating," he said. "I'm very anxious to see some stability."

Stellings says that, for her clients, discussions about changes are the right direction.

"I was delighted to hear that they were going to revisit the plan," she said.

Stacey Anfindsen, President of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, says the group hasn't taken a stance yet on revisiting the assignment plan.

"There is no data to tell if the new assignment policy is adverse, beneficial or neutral on the residential market," he said.


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  • ecogirl11 Jun 22, 2012

    I am a parent who has worked and thus paid taxes in Wake county for the past 8 years although I chose to live outside the county. This summer I made the decision to move to Raleigh to be closer to work. The public school system in Wake County told me that as a newcomer I would have to wait until both selection processes were complete to enroll my child. I was given a list of 6 schools and 5 of them were already at capacity. My only other option was a school 13 miles away from my new home. This is unfair to my child who now is going to be on the bus an hour each way. I thought this new plan was supposed to bring back neighborhood schools, but clearly for newcomers to Wake county this will not be the case! I have appealed the decision, but I don't hold out hope that the school board will rule in my favor. I can see how people moving to Wake county might think twice since the system clearly discriminates against newcomers.

  • jrbrock Jun 22, 2012

    Go to school with the kids in your neighborhood. End of story. That's what people in most of the country are used to. It's what I grew up with in Minnesota. No cross-town busing to meet quotas, no "school choice". Picking your school based on where you live is part of freedom of association. What's next, quotas for government subsidized housing? "Oh sorry, that neighborhood is 90% white, you can't get an FHA loan for a house there unless you're black."

  • davisgw Jun 21, 2012

    All of the flip flopping and caving in to special interest groups and lack of leadership has people from all over the country scared to consider moving to Raleigh. The lack of stability on the board is endangering the credability of the entire school system. I can undsestand both parents and teachers concerns.

  • djofraleigh Jun 21, 2012

    The trouble with media cherry picking view from a few people is that it provides wheels for media bias. I need to trust media as presenting REALITY based reporting that is fair, is balanced and does point out different thoughts and views in way that I am helped to be able to judge events fairly with good information and facts that ARE REAL.

    All I'm certain of is that the school board is a mismatched mess of political pressures which seems to put realtors, party ideology, commercial interests ahead of either academics or students...the students are mere PAWNS OF THE BOARD. .

  • djofraleigh Jun 21, 2012

    When the democratic board had their way before & wanted diversity, had the complete power to attain it, yet had Apex HS with 80% white, and Southeast Raleigh HS with over 70% minority, plus an elementary school with 46% Hispanic & so on...so it was not practicing what it preached. There was no objection from the NAACP here, or in Orange County where there are separate and unequal city/county systems.

    Then, the republican board had their way with a pro-choice in school assignment. I don't know the stats that came of that, (we will see soon) but the NAACP outcry was immediate, and accreditation was called into question.

    Now, all those choices parents made will be undone, I suppose. Will there be true diversity or selective cases? Will the voters swing back come election? Will Superintendent Tata stay or have to say ta-ta?

  • djofraleigh Jun 21, 2012

    one client decided not to sell because he already knew that the schools in his area were full and was worried that that would deter buyers. (Realtor Stellings)

    That's part of the reason that the school board this week voted 5-4 to revisit the barely year-old plan for the 2013-14 -- article

    Is the N&O trying to tell me that the school board is catering to the wants of home sellers?????? Is that part of the criteria for major adjustments in school board decisions. GET THE ACCREDITATION people back here.

  • kmanc4s Jun 21, 2012

    The local Real Estate agent in the article, is not making a valid argument. Anyone moving into a particular neighborhood doesn't have the choice of any school in the entire Wake County System. No one is going to move to Cary and have schools in Zebulon to choose from. I would think that as a newcomer with kids in the WCPSS, telling them they have a choice of schools close to where they're buying and they can choose rather than having to accept whatever they are assigned would be a positive selling point, not a negative.

    Do Realtors tell their customers they may have their children placed in an under performing low income school to balance out the Socio-economic diversity? Would that help or hurt a sale?

  • scoutmom Jun 21, 2012

    I've got two words for you: CHARTER SCHOOL. No more nonsense from those in Central Office :D