Local News

3 Mayors Speak Out Against Wake Reassignment Plan

Posted December 13, 2007

— Three Wake County mayors sharply criticized Thursday the Wake County school system's latest reassignment plan for elementary school students.

Wake County schools are bracing for another 6,000 students in 2008-09. District administrators said the reassignment plan for elementary students would help to fill seats in new schools and balance out dropping enrollment in other schools.

When they announced the plan last week, administrators also said they wanted to keep an economic balance in schools so no school has too many poor or too many well-to-do students.

As part of the reassignment, more than 3,000 students will be moved from traditional-calendar schools to year-round schedules.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled in May that the district couldn't require students to attend a year-round school without parental consent. Hundreds of parents opted out of switching to year-round schools last summer, leaving many traditional-calendar schools overcrowded this fall.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly, Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams and Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears on Thursday joined members of Wake Cares, the community organization that sued the district over the year-round conversion plan, to express frustration with the new reassignment plan.

"Our issue is not about reassignment. It's about how reassignments are done," Williams said.

"This is a kids issue, not necessarily a numbers issue," Sears said. "Kids. They're real, live people. They have parents who want to support the schools. These reassignment plans completely knock that concept apart."

Reassignments cause confusion and disruption in local communities and turn families into pawns, Weatherly said, adding that the school district should be more concerned with educational excellence than enrollment diversity.

School board Chairwoman Rosa Gill said the district needs to shuffle students to make room for growth.

"We weigh what we have to do to provide access to all students, and then we try to come up with the best solution," Gill said.

But Dawn Graff, one of the founders of Wake Cares, said half of the students being reassigned are for diversity and not to fill new schools. Some students would be forced to attend their third school in three years under the proposal, she said.

"Every year, the policies and the actions of the (school) board affect more and more families and disrupt more schools. This is bad for the community and bad for our children," said Kathleen Brennan, another founder of Wake Cares. "The Wake County Public School System has lost its focus and continues to be more concerned with reassigning students than with educating them."

School officials have said students will be guaranteed a seat in a traditional school if they don't want to attend the year-round school to which they're assigned.


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  • lizard Dec 14, 2007


    It's not the healthiest for society. You've never tried the other way apparently. How do you know it won't work? It's worked for thousands of years past. Do you really think things are better now with the type of rat race we're in?

    No one is saying legislate this as a requirement but a blind person could see the public school system doesn't work. We're "behind" other countries, big time!

  • poohperson2000 Dec 14, 2007


    My child also appreciates me and we do spend time together, but time apart is healthy for a child too. My son is incredibly independent for a 7 yr old. I still make every soccer game, and practice, and attend all his taekwondo events (that is what they make vacation for). Do not assume that your way is the only way. We work just as hard and sacrafice just as much as you do, just in a different way.

  • poohperson2000 Dec 14, 2007


    Why can't my child still grow up and be smart and sucessful and attend a public school?? Also why is it Mom that you suggest stays home? Your way is not the only successful way to raise a child. I attended public schools, and I survived. What they acheive in their life/ and academics has a whole lot to do with the values you teach at home. You do not have to be a stay at home mom to have good values. My life style sets a great example for what I want my child's future to look like. I acheived my degree while I worked a full time job, and was a mom. I perservered and worked hard to graduate with a 3.6 GPA. I have held jobs with increasing responsibilities and good pay, at the same company for 10 yrs. I appreciate my degree because it was not handed to me by Mom and Dad, I worked for it on my own and still made it.

  • lizard Dec 14, 2007

    "But I have come to enjoy working."

    You'll enjoy better seeing a grown child that is intelligent and responsible and one that will never forget the sacrifice in lifestyle you made for him or her. Now don't that beat an 'ole job or paycheck? Isn't that the greatest accomplishment for a parent?

  • poohperson2000 Dec 14, 2007


    Your lifestyle is not for everyone, as mine is not for everyone. It takes all types to make up the world, and I choose to have a career. It is not about the "sucess", because I make a modest living at my job, and do not hold a title impressive enough to mention. But I have come to enjoy working.

  • lizard Dec 14, 2007

    "But there I have friends and social interaction I need to keep my mind sharp."

    Listen to you! It's all about you being "made whole" by having career isn't it? Don't be brainwashed. Check out home schooling. Do it at night when you get home. Adjust your shift if you "just have to have a job." But understand this - you'll be just as good as any teacher and the child will be better prepared and score higher on Achievement tests BY ACCIDENT than if he stays in public school.

  • poohperson2000 Dec 14, 2007

    You may speak the praises of homeschooling ALL you like. It is not for me. My son has needs I can not meet, and I am not a teacher anyway. I am an accountant, when he wants to learn that I am here to teach.. Yes, like everyone I dread going to work some days. But there I have friends and social interaction I need to keep my mind sharp. Can imagine why a kid would be any different?

  • Trivr Dec 13, 2007

    What would happen if parents just refused to take part in reassignment and dropped their kids off at their neighborhood school? My parents pulled us (four of us) out of our local school which they felt had poor standards and moved us to a larger school 20 miles away. They faced scorn and threats of legal action, but nothing ever came of it.

  • Nancy Dec 13, 2007

    "Besides running from the problem and placing your kid in a cacoon is not going to help them."

    Homeschoolers now enjoy having marching bands, sports teams and everything else public schools offer through networking with other homeschoolers. They are far from sheltered and are actually exposed to more educational field activities (trips to museums, arts etc) than those in public school.

    And interestingly enough, the standards for homeschooled students are more strict than those for public school students. And yet, they succeed! Novel concept.

  • lizard Dec 13, 2007

    poohperson and patriots revenge,,,,two, brainwashed by the system.

    Curriculum is cheap. There's no cocoon. You have a career because it's more important to you than your kids well being. It's a matter of priorities.