Local News

Schools Add 400 to Reassignment Plan

Posted January 8, 2008

— While parents were protesting an elementary school reassignment plan Tuesday, the Wake County school board was working with the draft plan and adding 400 students to it.

School officials say they have to make the changes to keep up with growth and to balance economic levels in each school. Parents say it takes students away from neighborhood schools.

Revised numbers that came out late Tuesday afternoon would move 6,800 students, and the school system said 3,800 of those would be getting closer to their homes than they are now. The initial draft of the plan covered 6,400 elementary students,

Superintendent Del Burns said the system is working on a long-term plan to help parents cope. After this year, the district will create a two-year reassignment plan that will help parents plan for the years from fall 2009 to spring 2011.

Parents have protested and signed petitions against the reassignment plan, saying they don’t want their children moved away from their neighborhood schools.

School officials note that half of the students they are moving will go to a school closer to home, and most students across the county go to a school that's within 5 miles of their house. The board said Tuesday afternoon that its plan would move 1,200 students to within a 3-mile radius of their homes from farther away.

Marching together, a crowd of parents from Davis Drive Elementary in Cary protested the reassignment plan that moves 260 students out of that school.

“The reassignment plan will break up the heart of our community,” said parent Sarah Redpath.

Redpath said she wants to avoid reassignment for her three children because Davis Drive is within walking distance of their home. She and other parents are hoping the school board will keep them there.

“We want stability and the ability to be involved in our neighborhood school,” she said.

DeLana Anderson is another parent fighting the reassignment plan.

“Every parent, when your children are being messed with, you feel angry, you feel frustrated. You want what’s best for your child, individually,” she said.

Under the plan, her daughter Morgan would move from Oak Grove to Adams Elementary. She and other parents have started a petition against the reassignment plan.

“I think there’s a frustration that’s being vented on the petition that we’re not being heard,” said parent Katie Sommers.

School board member Ron Margiotta represents the parents whose students go to Oak Grove. He says the reason for the move is simply to keep the socioeconomic scales balanced.

“You know my opinion: it’s foolishness,” he said. “We’re disrupting schools. We’re disrupting children. We’re disrupting families. We’re disrupting communities to the benefit of no one.”

Margiotta also said the bus route to Adams Elementary will be longer. The parents say that is taxpayer dollars wasted.

“Millions of dollars of tax dollars to bus our children further away from their communities is not a solution,” Sommers said.

School Board Chair Rosa Gill cautioned parents that the plan is far from a done deal. She encouraged parents to present the board with "constructive alternatives."

Reassignment is always a tough balancing act, school officials said, especially with surging enrollment numbers, new schools to fill and a commitment to keeping schools diverse.

“The growth has just hamstrung us. We’re swamped with growth,” Burns said.

The board was expected to hear a draft of the reassignment plan Tuesday. After that, it will hold public hearings and work sessions to hammer out the final reassignment plan, which will be voted on in February.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jgirl5830 Jan 9, 2008

    Gafan, you are right, but the thing is the school board won't admit that in the long run this won't benefit minorities either, to give you an example we had about 100 bused in "low income" minorities bused into my daughters school because of the yr opt out, and out of about 100 only 20 are left because they went back to their base schools because the work was to much and to challenging at our school. The boe would never tell the public about that, they just keep on with their social experiments with our kids.

  • G-Dawg Jan 9, 2008

    Only because it benefits them.

  • G-Dawg Jan 9, 2008

    Hate it or not, but if minorities were the ones protesting, etc., then this wouldn't happen.

  • clickclackity2 Jan 8, 2008

    This happens every year. And every year, ding ding ding, the school board gets the final say.

  • lizard Jan 8, 2008

    month = year

  • lizard Jan 8, 2008

    Nothing wrong with the d-_- traffic!

    Crashes dropped 5% last month and it's one of the lowest in the nation!

  • GALNC Jan 8, 2008

    Weatherstone, Cary, Green Hope, Morrisville, Davis Drive, Turner Creek, Carpenter, and Salem..what do they all have in common besides being 10 sq miles from each other...WCPSS and Town of Cary's inability to forecast infrastructure to support the growth of the area in terms of roads, schools, emergency services, traffic flow etc. These schools have all been built since 1993. As far has West Park, Wellsley being re-assigned...they pass my neighborhood (1/8th mile from Davis Drive) and that didn't matter when they redistricted Fenton Estates even though we were closer then some of McArthur Park and West Park & Wellsley. Location and Diversity of a neighborhood do not matter. It's painful to be in a growing area and if our School System and Town could project growth correctly..none of these issues in traffic, school assignments, emergency services would be happening....

  • lizard Jan 8, 2008

    I'm not participating in gov't schools. I'm collecting bottles and cans at night to send my child to a private Christian school. I don't want her to see how the other side lives. I want her to separate herself from ner-do-wells. I want her to stay pure for her husband and not here about how to "do it" and not get pregnant.

    It's a nice feeling. Knowing I'm saving on lawyers' fees and other things.

  • lizard Jan 8, 2008

    taurismo - nothing wrong with it really. The prima donas that "know" more than us just want to experiment with our kids.

  • taurismo Jan 8, 2008

    The fact that parents never went to their children's schools or participated at the schools in any way is not only sad for the children, but the parents as well. It wasn't necessarily because the parents didn't want to be active in their child's school, but rather the distance between home and school was great enough to prevent it from happening. Why not start reassigning teachers? I'll bet half would resign!