Wake County Schools

Wake school board to slow adoption of new student assignment plan

Posted September 18, 2012
Updated September 19, 2012

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— Wake County Public School System staff presented the school board Tuesday evening with a new student assignment plan proposal for 2013-14 that will link base schools to every address in the district.

But the board decided to slow adopting a new plan by putting off a scheduled Oct. 30 vote on the staff proposal in favor of careful study and discussion in board work sessions.

They also said parents need more information from staff about what the proposal would mean for individual families, so five public hearings that were scheduled to start next week will also be postponed.

The board has not set a new deadline for adopting a student assignment plan for 2013-14.

Student assignment in the district has been a messy and contentious issue for several years, and board members said they wanted any new plan to provide stability for Wake County families.

"This community has already had so much upheaval in assignment," said board member Christine Kushner.

In June, the school board voted on a directive to change the current "controlled choice" plan so that students would, in part, be assigned to a school or schools within a "reasonable distance" from where they live.

Under the changes that were outlined Tuesday, each address in Wake County will be assigned a "base" elementary, middle and high school.

All new families, as well as families who move to a new address within the county, will be assigned to a base school.

Parents, however, will have the option to stay at the base school or rank among a list of other schools where they would prefer their children to attend.

Students in school this year will be allowed to stay in their current school, if parents wish. If that's not the base school, they can choose the base school, if there's room. Wake schools staff presents new assignment plan; board wants more time Wake school board wants time to study student assignment proposal

"Everybody can stay in your current school with current busing. That is stability," said Laura Evans, who presented the staff's student assignment proposal at Tuesday's board meeting.

Superintendent Tony Tata, who spent a lot of time promoting the 2012-13 controlled choice plan, said he thinks the new proposal is "moving in the right direction."

"The choice plan was the compromise middle-of-the-road plan – now we are making the next logical step," he said.

During the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting, several parents charged that the school system used Chief Facilities and Operations Officer Don Haydon as a scapegoat amid ongoing problems with busing in the district.

Haydon, who announced Monday that he plans to resign Dec. 31, oversaw busing, which has been plagued with problems since traditional calendar students returned to school last month. Parents have complained about buses being late or not arriving at stops.

"We had a large-scale failed mission, and the wrong person has been relieved of their duty," said parent Amy Lee.

Board members praised Haydon Monday, calling him a "very good administrator" and "a consummate professional."

No reasons for his resignation were given, and Haydon has not been available for comment.

Tata refused to comment on Haydon's resignation Tuesday, calling it a "human resources matter."

39 Comments

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  • injameswetrust2003 Sep 19, 2012

    "guess it was ok for Tedesco to have an agenda when he took office, but you complain Kevin Hill having one- form1

    That's my point exactly. Kevin Hill and the democratic minority were up in arms about the speed of the first plan being 'pushed' through. So now it's ok if they do what they complained about? Kevin Hill is a career WCPSS politician who still drinks the old diversity-busing koolaid. He didn't win his district by much, so looking forward to 2015.

  • form1 Sep 19, 2012

    @conservativeVoter

    I guess it was ok for Tedesco to have an agenda when he took office, but you complain Kevin Hill having one. There is nothing to see thru with this plan. It is dead, a non issue. Wait until 2015! No need to cry over spilled milk now. The voters spoke in November, no neighborhood schools, no choice plan.

  • bombayrunner Sep 19, 2012

    So the democrats come in and sabotage the plan that the majority voted on. Then 'upheavel' of a few hundred hard core dems complain about the plan and it changes? There are tens of thousands NOT complaining.

  • kay121 Sep 19, 2012

    If some of these kids are going to a school that they got first choice for this year and are told they can choose to stay and not "have" to switch to their base school (if it's different), then we're going to run into a really serious problem and perhaps create more parents up in arms. All these more popular base schools are going to be impossible to get into and will be capped off before anyone really gets a chance to be at THEIR ASSIGNED neighborhood school and will be sent elsewhere.

    What I see happening is that everyone's going to end up being split up again where you'll see several school buses in one neighborhood busing kids to different schools for still allowing choice.

    The only solution (not saying that it's the solution that makes everyone happy) I see is where they say if you have been assigned this base school, this is where you will go. If you're at a different school now, you will be switched to the base school and will stay there. Magnets should the exception though.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 19, 2012

    "It is so hypocritical of Board Chair Kevin Hill to push through changes of policy 6200 and a new assignment plan so quickly. - injameswetrust2003"

    He didn't even give the new plan a chance. He was making changes before school started. He had an agenda when he took office.

  • Da Toy Maker Sep 19, 2012

    "hat's great, for your same school, but when it's time to move up, and that school is capped, you're not going to get in. Then what? How happy will you/parents be when they get the same results they got this year? When they don't get to go to the school they want.
    Nuff z Nuff"

    You and I are basically agree on the same thing. We have areas that will be over capacity and other under. One thing I know for sure is that they CAN'T make everyone happy!

    BTW, our only child graduated from WCPSS last year. I'm just voicing my own opinion here. Other than seeing the impact of any change changing my property tax rate, I really don't have as much as most of you in this fight.

    Peace!

  • americaneel Sep 19, 2012

    This wil give the parents something else to whine about...

  • Screw WrAl Sep 19, 2012

    "parents could keep their children in their current schools.." will create chaos for any plan they want to implement?"

    That's great, for your same school, but when it's time to move up, and that school is capped, you're not going to get in. Then what? How happy will you/parents be when they get the same results they got this year? When they don't get to go to the school they want.

  • injameswetrust2003 Sep 19, 2012

    It is so hypocritical of Board Chair Kevin Hill to push through changes of policy 6200 and a new assignment plan so quickly.

  • form1 Sep 19, 2012

    The new board just took office in December there options were to go ahead with the rushed plan from the old board or go back to the old diversity plan. Tata and his staff informed them that it was to late in the game to change, so they went with it. There is no way they fix this mess until they say it play all the way out. No they can go back and fix it.

    I don't think any minorities have to hold them accountable to bring diversity back. They just need to make sound, rational decisions. What happen was the old board ran on neighborhood platform and then found out that is not feasible. Instead of making sound and rational decision, they were influenced by the public to make it work. See the results.

    Just a thought - Diversity is not good when you send minorities to traditional calendar schools, but it is good when the board forced minorities to go to year round schools against their will so they would have enough students at the school... i am just saying

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