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Wake schools assign students; Board unhappy with results

Posted June 5, 2007
Updated April 29, 2008

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— The Wake County school board on Tuesday night approved a plan that will find seats for about 2,600 students who balked at being assigned to year-round schools, but officials were not happy with their decision and said it failed to meet some of their goals, including economic diversity.

The board also disclosed that it had voted earlier to ask the state Court of Appeals to give it leeway in assigning new students who register in the district after Monday.

When Superior Court Judge Howard Manning said the district must get permission to put children in year-round schools, the school board mailed out more than 30,000 consent forms to parents with children in year-round or modified year-round schools or slated to go to them. More than 90 percent of those parents agreed to stay at their assigned school when it changed.

Another 2,626 students opted to move to traditional calendar schools, however, and the schools had to scramble to figure out where to assign them. Of those, the system reported, nearly 1,600 are on the free-and-reduced lunch plan, the way school systems know who low-income students are.

Tuesday night, the board could not assign students who opted out of five year-round schools in the Garner area, and officials said they would look again at students from North Garner Middle School at a 2:30 p.m. meeting on Wednesday. They did not say just when they would find seats for opt-out students from Vance, West Lake, Rand and Timber Drive elementary schools.

“I have to begin by saying that it's definitely with frustration and not satisfaction that I'm prepared to make some recommendations  to you this afternoon,” Chuck Dulaney of the schools Office of Growth Management, told the board during the marathon meeting.

Numbers for two schools show why officials were dissatisfied with the results of trying to balance the load of a growing student population. Year-round schools that were supposed to ease overcrowding may not do that, and traditional schools that were supposed to be less crowded may not get the relief officials wanted to provide.

Take Timber Drive Year Round Elementary: the school fits 881 students, but 142 opted out, and projected enrollment is left at 835.

However, at Davis Drive Elementary, with a traditional schedule, the school fits 899 and the projected enrollment is now 997. The school has 13 mobile classrooms, and some specialized teachers may lose classrooms and work off carts.

School Board Chair Patti Head told the public meeting that the board had voted in a closed session on Monday to ask the Court of Appeals for permission to handle new arrivals' assignments outside Manning's order.

Year-round schools start their year July 9.

The court is hearing the board's appeal of Manning's order, which stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Wake Cares Inc. The group opposed a plan to convert 22 schools from traditional to year-round schedules.

Head said it is clear that the judge's ruling upset the balance in schools on socio-economic diversity.

"This has eroded years of work to create healthy schools," Head said.

Board attorney Ann Majestic plans to file the request within the next few days, Head said.

Board member Ron Margiotta said he was the only one on the board who opposed the request.


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  • likemenow Jun 7, 2007

    RE:"We ARE the experts,"...if what we're seeing in the way of failure in our schools is the result of the combined effort of you "experts", what's next?

  • Section25 Jun 7, 2007

    Pro-Traditional - Once again, whay do you think illegal immigrants do not pay for schools? They pay tax at stores/restuarants just like all of us, they pay rent (which funds the land owner paying property tax) or property tax if they own, and many/most of the jobs take out state and federal taxes from their paycheck just like everybody else (and the jobs that don't - get mad at those employers!). So, once again, how is the illegal immigrants are not helping to fund public schools?

  • bgran04 Jun 6, 2007

    The WRAL online report does not match up with what was reported on the 6pm news today...I want to read more about rising kindergartners in limbo! What was that all about. Where is the written and more in depth info on that broadcast report?

  • momofnha Jun 6, 2007

    I would like to ask a question of everyone: Has anyone come up with a short term solution to place all of our students? Short term meaning for the next school year? I have been lurking about and I think we have established 1. who is at fault, 2. who is not at fault, 3. long term solutions, etc. But does anyone have a solution for right now? If the schools are full, then they are full. So what should the board do? If the fire marshall says the maximum occupancy for this building is X, what is the school board supposed to do? They just can't keep putting more kids into that school. Do they have a door monitor to count the number of people entering the building, and just say "sorry, you can't come in until someone leaves?" Does the school become first come first serve?

  • momofnha Jun 6, 2007

    "I am all for not increasing the FRL ratio. Bus these non-English speaking kids and crack babies from Garner"

    yabo: I don't live in Garner, but I'm tired of Garner always getting "blamed" for these people who actually live in Raleigh. Have you even been to Garner?

  • Teacher08 Jun 6, 2007

    Likemenow: "What you do is not rocket science" Unfortunately, that is the general opinion of many people who are not teachers. That is the problem! We ARE the experts, we KNOW what is needed, and having parents, and others be back seat drivers telling us how to do our jobs is ridiculous. Most parents can't parent their own child. We offer guidance, try to be proactive with a parent of children having either behavior or academic problems and we hit a brick wall with excuses.

  • Teacher08 Jun 6, 2007

    Ckimoo: "They are obsessed with it" (socio-economic diversity)The BOE should be obsessed with it otherwise you would have all rich kids and poor kids going to separate schools. The well to do would do fine, however the other would not. You try to teach a group of 25 poor kids with little parent support, behavior difficulties,academic problems all in one classroom let alone all in one school. Test scores would plummet, the teachers, administration would be blamed for something they did not create and the school would be known as a "failure." Is that a healthy environment? NO

  • teacher in wake Jun 6, 2007

    oh well, sorry... I can't get the link to load or the table to format. Wake Co had 82% graduation rate in comparison.

  • teacher in wake Jun 6, 2007

    Rate District Size rank Rate District Size rank Rate District Size rank
    21.7 Detroit 11 53.7 New Orleans 48 68.4 Gwinnett County, Ga. 20
    38.5 Baltimore City, Md. 30 53.8 Duval County, Fla. 19 68.6 Brevard County, Fla. 42
    38.9 New York City 1 54.6 Clark County, Nev. 6 69.3 Fulton County, Ga. 45
    43.1 Milwaukee 28 54.8 DeKalb County, Ga. 27 70.0 Hillsborough County, Fla. 10
    43.8 Cleveland 44 55.1 Austin 37 70.2 Anne Arundel County, Md. 40
    44.2 Los Angeles 2 55.2 Palm Beach County, Fla. 12 70.4 Cobb County, Ga. 26 45.3 Miami-Dade County, Fla. 4 55.5 Philadelphia 8 72.2 Granite, Utah 46 46.3 Dallas 13 56.0 Charlotte 23 75.3 Mesa, Ariz. 39 46.5 Pinellas County, Fla. 22 56.2 Orange County, Fla. 15 75.8 Northside, Tex. 49 46.8 Denver 43 60.1 Polk County, Fla. 34 77.0 Jefferson County, Colo. 33 48.5 Memphis 21 62.2 Jefferson County, Ky. 31 80.2 Jordan, Utah 41 48.7 Broward County, Fla. 5 63.0 San

  • poohperson Jun 6, 2007


    The discussion stems from a suggest that a single schools serves as a YR and Traditional School. The items in your operating budget should be considered after the school is built. Otherwise we could just say everything is insignificant. We are talking about what to do with existing schools to create more room and make the parents and the taxpayers happy. (which will NEVER happen)