Local News

Apex Eyes Private School to Avoid Year-Round Mandate

Posted April 20, 2007

— Town residents and officials met Friday to come up with a back-up plan in case they lose their court fight to block a forced move to year-round schools.

A group of parents organized as WakeCARES has sued the Wake County school system to stop the planned conversion of 19 elementary and three middle schools from traditional calendars to year-round schedules. The parents said the switch would disrupt their families' lives.

School district officials say they need the extra classroom seats offered by year-round schools to accommodate a projected enrollment increase of 8,000 students this fall.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning heard arguments in the case Wednesday but isn't expected to rule for another week.

About two dozen people met Friday to discuss plans for starting a private school or charter school to give them an alternative to  their children attending a year-round school.

"I feel like there is an overwhelming need for alternatives in Wake County," parent Patrice Lee said.

Organizers said they would pursue plans for a private or charter school regardless of whether they win their suit against the district.

"We've got to figure out what we need interms of land and financing. We won't have any problem with parents willing and interested in putting their children in it. That won't be an issue," local business owner Kent Misegades said.

A school that can accommodate 400 students would cost roughly $2 million to build, another $2 million a year in operating costs and about four acres of land.

Organizers said an affordable private school could be up and running in a year. Tuition would be about $5,000 a year, and scholarship money would make it accessible to low-income families, they said.

The state already is at its maximum allowed number of charter schools. But a bill pending in the legislature would raise the statewide cap and allow more charter schools to open.

"I feel very optiistic that this can happen for Apex families," Mayor Keith Weatherly said. "I think it will be an overwhelming positive response. I believe this school could be sold out at capacity the day after it's announced. We're going to have one."


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  • poohperson2000 Apr 23, 2007

    YR are not against you having choices we are frustrated that these last minute tactics can posiibly have an effect on the calendar that we have already accepted and planned for. It is also frustrating to hear parents repeatedly rant on how important summer vacation is. Kids can read and do all the same things in their three week breaks as their summer breaks. I also feel it is silly that you feel you have a right to choose your childs schedule, this is a ridiculus notion too. We are not being ugly we are stating what we see. What I see is a group of parents unwilling to change. I am sure eventually all schools will go year round, that this is just phase one. Then at least you will not feel you are being singled out.

  • thewayitis Apr 23, 2007

    The State needs to allow more charter schools, so that parents have more choices in education. Since all of us pay taxes, let us all have a choice. What is it with all of the YR proponents who don't want to give others a choice? Traditional calendar parents are not constantly bad-mouthing the Year Rounders, why do the Year Rounders feel the need to constantly bad mouth the Traditional Calendar parents? Because we want more for our kids? With the exception of low income students, children do not learn better in Year Round schools -- studies have proven this. Most kids get valuable enrichment in the summer, the opportunity to read non-required books and learn about other non-required subjects. Heck, studies have even shown that creativity stems from boredom, and the way life is these days, kids never even have the opportunity to be bored - it's go, go, go all the time. I want my kids to have summer vacation, filled with lazy days and good books. I want them to have more...

  • superman Apr 23, 2007

    They will need to borrow 5 to 8 million dollars to get the school up and running. Do you know how much interest that is a year? probably cost 500,000 to have a cafeteria -- having to buy custom made stainless steel counters, refrigerators and freezers and stoves. I think the Mayor is downplaying the cost-- the 2 million only gives you a building-- no land and an empty school. I am not surprised-- the apex fire department didnt even know what was stored at the chemical plant. Theyw ere trying to find out what was there and how to fight the fire while the building burned. No planning. Bet they didnt even know the plant was there. The interest on 5 mil at 5 per cent would be 250,000 a year and that is not paying back any of the principal

  • superman Apr 22, 2007

    A BS degree does not entitle you to teach. The individual should possess teacher certification. Most of the funding for a school comes from the county. What does the state pay in addition to salaries, and money for instructional supplies to a charter school.

  • NCTeacher Apr 22, 2007

    Charter Schools receive state funding- that is why there is a cap on how many they allow. As for the teachers- they hire teachers who have a regular BS degree in education, just like the Public School System.

  • superman Apr 22, 2007

    I have never been inside a charter school. How can they have the media center and have the resources of the public school? I think the only way a private school or a charter might be an advantage is that maybe most of the kids that are there-- are interested in learning. It is difficult to teach kids who dont want to learn no matter what the qualifications of the teacher. One or two disruptive students can disrupt the entire classroom. As for home schooling-- dont see how the parent can do much-- most adults cannot even do fractions and that is about 5th grade-- you forget when you dont use math. And certainly most parents dont remember algebra and geometry and phycics. And then there is English grammar!

  • FragmentFour Apr 22, 2007

    Private and charter schools may be the best ultimate solution to this problem - I hope the parents make it. Those who pull their kids out in favor of the private and charter paths free teacher time and class space for others who can't or just don't. The quality of the education for all concerned HAS to be better than the one North Carolina (and maybe other states as well)poivides now.

  • superman Apr 22, 2007

    You can borrow the money to build the school and buy the land. What about the money for the school equipment, the library books, the school buses and the 2 million operating expenses. The people going to pay a full years fee at the beginning of the year? Looks to me that they will need about about 7 million to get the school up and running. Appears to be a risky venture to me. The bank might loan money for the construction and the land-- but not the other 4 mil in books, equipment, buses and operating cost. My point is there is a lot more money involved in opening a school than the construction and the land. The 2 mil in construction is the first drop in a large bucket. And NO, I never heard of a mortage-- my house is paid for thank you and so are my 3 cars. You ever heard of "pay as you go". Dont think you find many people who wanna pay 5,000 a year for something they can get free-- but there are always fools and their money who are soon parted.

  • poohperson2000 Apr 22, 2007

    The heart of the lawsuit, and this debate is that it is not fair for the BOE to determine the childrens schedules. Well, in my eyes they do have the right. Otherwise I would like my son's start time to be made earlier, so I do not pay for before school care, when he is only there for 45 mintutes. His lunch is at 11;55 which is to early when school atarts at 9:15.
    See how sill it is to think you have a right to determine your childs school schedule? If you take it to just one more step like I did you can see how silly it is. Tread carefully becaues if you complain too much they will make all middle and elementary schools year round, and you will be left in the dark with no other options. There are a few choices if you do not want to go year round, 1. homeschool 2. privare school- (wake care will offer for a bargain $5000.00 3. open a charter school 4. move.
    Accept this and makes plans now before your kids who you have trained to hate YR are forced into it.

  • wigiwood Apr 21, 2007

    Dear Parents fighting the transition to year round schools,
    It is sad but you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Also, you kisd are embarrassed, and I hear them in public places souting off rants akin to the news media. Please have some sense and stop.

    Thank You.