Local News

Students Upset Over Wake County Schools' Parking Pass Increase

Posted June 29, 2005

— Students at one Raleigh high school are saying no to higher parking fees after the Wake County School Board doubled the price for a parking pass for the upcoming school year.

A group of students at Southeast Raleigh High School are upset because of the school board's last-minute budget decision to increase parking passes from $120 to $240.

Many students said they could not ride the bus because they attend off-campus classes or have internships.

"I think they think we're an easy target," said Jessica Lindsey, a student at Southeast Raleigh High. "They figure that since we're teenage students we're not going to speak up about what we think is right. They think, 'Oh yeah, their parents will pay for it, but kids like myself are paying for it all.'"

The school system said it can make $700,000 more a year with the increase, which is enough to give coaches and extra-duty staff their first pay raise since 1988. One school board member told WRAL over the phone that the decision was a desperation issue.

Emeka Anen says he knows desperation. With just a few weeks left before school begins, he says he is not sure he can pay it.

"I don't know, it's looking kind of sketchy right now," Anen said.

But Leah Holden says she is not giving up.

"We start school on July 25, so it may not be effective for us," Holden said. "But maybe we can help someone else in Wake County or the classes behind us."

If parking has to come at a price, she thinks it can be more reasonable.

Other school systems in the Triangle charge less than the Wake County school system. Durham and Orange County schools charge $75 and Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools charge $100. Wake County's new fee is about the same price as a basic college-parking sticker.


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