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Wake School Board Decides to Consider New Bond Referendum

Posted February 1, 2007

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— The Wake County Board of Education on Thursday decided to consider a 2007 school construction referendum to allow the system to return to a voluntary year-round calendar.

Members want to know more about the implications before making a final decision.

Earlier this week, the Wake County Board of Commissioners officially asked the school board to expedite another multimillion-dollar bond to this fall.

"They provided us an opportunity to put the mandatory year-round question to a vote: Is the community willing to provide the additional funds needed to return to our voluntary year round model in the future?" school board Chairwoman Patti Head said.

School staff say a new bond this fall, however, could not provide additional capacity before 2010.

Last November, Wake County voters approved a $970 million bond that would build more schools to help ease the school system's student population. Part of the plan required converting 19 existing elementary schools and three existing elementary and middle schools to mandatory year-round schedules.

Last month, however, the Board of Commissioners withheld more than $3 million that would have been used to transition the schools to a year-round schedule.

The school board also asked commissioners to reconsider that decision when they meet on Monday.

Although some board members say another construction bond so soon is worth exploring, others say voters approved the last bond thinking schools would go year-round. They say they do not think it is fair to abandon that plan.

"Do they in all seriousness want us to abandon future schools as year-round and undertake a thorough study on the costs associated with that?" asked school board member Beverley Clark.

A meeting between the two boards has not been scheduled discuss an expedited bond.

The school board also considered other options to open up and additional 2,400 seats in traditional-calendar schools this fall for parents who are opposed to year-round schools.

Among the options, which the board will vote on Tuesday:

  • Parents of students assigned to year-round schools may apply for seats in a traditional-calendar school during the magnet and calendar application period Feb. 12-28.
  • Parents will have the opportunity to have input in track assignment.
  • Siblings in the same school will be placed on the same track and siblings in year-round elementary and middle schools will be given priority for placement on the same track.

In another move Thursday, the school board also voted to ask the General Assembly to change 1996 legislation that capped the number of charter schools in the state at 100. Wake County has 14 charter schools, more than any other in the state.

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  • superman Feb 2, 2007

    Dang, I couldnt sleep at all last nite worrying about those parents who were more concerned about their vacation and their schedule than their childrens education. I sure hope the school board can work it out and spend a couple more 100 million so those rich folks can take their summer vacation. They should be grateful with the cost of schools that their child even has a seat.

  • sw Feb 2, 2007

    They should not be able to pass these bonds unless they get 75% or more of registered voters to vote on it. They give us so little information, and no follow up. Where's the last 970 MILLION DOLLARS they just received?!?!?! Don't tell me they didn't have this new proposal waiting in the background. Come on voters... if they can't tell you exactly where all this money is going, just say NO. And where is all the Lottery money going?

  • mrichmond13 Feb 2, 2007

    Dang. I was looking sooooo forward to voting against this. These people are idiots if they think we're going to take this.

  • WXYZ Feb 2, 2007

    Taxpayers, not "the public", pay for education. Unfortunately, non-taxpayers are allowed to vote on these bond referendums and not enough taxpayers vote. Elected officials should be required to get the most for the taxpayers money.

  • Forgetaboutit Feb 2, 2007

    Another bond...are you kidding me! Who is running this? Please stop...please stop now!!

  • mrlaidback11 Feb 2, 2007

    They really have to be that stupid to think a second bond will pass just a year after the first one. Their too inconsistent with their agenda and are losing the public's trust. Also, I really hope their an auditing firm tracking the finances, because I don't think they can be trusted.

  • stevenjkathman Feb 2, 2007

    Make and keep the schools year round. We get better use out of our investments. Why give more money for buildings that will barely be used for 3 months out of a year. You want more money, show you are at least trying to find other means of dealing with overcrowding. One way to show that is keeping the schools year round, not changing them back in a few years. Those opposed to year round lost on the last bond. So they are not in the majority here.

  • rhamkatte Feb 2, 2007

    I think the School Board ought to get up and go home and let the late coming geniuses at the County Board get things moving. The basis for the last bond was year 'round school to utilize what we have. My grandchildren all did very well in year 'round because they didn't forget over the short period they were out. I would never vote for another bond until the County Commissioners get out of the planning of the school system and let the School Board do their job!!

  • oceanchild71 Feb 2, 2007

    Try these links:




    I think year-round is great for those who want it. For those who don't want it or can't do it for one reason or another, it is a huge hardship. Most people are just asking to be given a reasonable chance at choice.

  • alex2 Feb 2, 2007

    When one posts "350+ schools have abandoned MYR," please post a verifiable reference. I couldn't find any such evidence of a mass trend away from year round schools. Clearly, traditional schedules are convienent, but it is not possible to accomodate the influx quickly enough. Personally, I have had good experiences with year round schedules in three states, including here. Both children here are on the same track, as is the policy of the school district. I find they tend to retain more with the breaks balanced throughout the year.