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Parents Protest Wake County School Reassignment Plan

Posted January 12, 2008
Updated January 15, 2008

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— Some Cary parents say the Wake County reassignment plan will destroy their neighborhood schools.

More than 60 parents rallied Saturday at Town Hall hoping to prompt change.

“We love the community. I volunteer at the school. My children can walk to school,” said parent Ryn Hagstrom.

All that will change if the school board's reassignment proposal becomes policy. Students at Oak Grove Elementary, Davis Drive Elementary, Farmington Woods Elementary and Combs Elementary could be shuffled.

“We have written up pages and pages of solutions. We've shown them where their numbers are wrong,” Hagstrom said.

The parents say they feel their concerns are falling on deaf ears.

"They've [school board members] pretty much told us, we don't care if your family's upset, we don't care if your community's broken apart, we don't care if you neighborhood school's turned upside down. We're [school board members] just looking at the stats," she said.

Hagstrom grew up in Cary and chose to stay because of its quality of life.

"This is my home. I didn't come from somewhere else. I stayed because this is a great place to live. It's a great school system and they [the Wake County school board] are ruining it," she said.

“There's 118 children at Oak Grove Elementary School. That's to us, no small potatoes. To the school board, we're small potatoes and they need to step up and represent us,” said parent Katie Sommers.

Board members said the reassignment is necessary to fill three new schools opening in the fall and to reshuffle students among existing schools, so they will be in classrooms instead of trailers.

"If I did not believe all of these children were going to get a quality education at their assigned school, I could not support any of it, but I'm convinced they will,” said school board member Eleanor Goettee.

Goettee, who represents the western Wake County district, said her job is to balance concerns with district demands.

"But for me to actually advocate for a change in the reassignment plan, I need to see a reason that rises above those shared by all other parents in the system," she said.

Goettee said she and other school board members have met with parents individually, as well as responded to dozens of e-mails.

She said the school board has not yet had a chance to respond to solutions offered by Cary parents.

"We've read them all and we have not had a chance to talk about it among ourselves and we will be doing that in upcoming work sessions," Goettee said.

Some town council members hope to convince the school board to consider other options.

“That sway we're looking for is just the opportunity to discuss other options, long-term options. Not just about Davis Drive Elementary and Oak Grove but what are we going to do in the long-term, in the short-term,” said Cary town council member Gale Adcock.

“We want a place at the table. We're stakeholders in this and we want to see some compromise out of the school board,” Sommers said.

The first of three public hearings on the reassignment plan is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Sanderson High School.

“We're going to sit down and go bit by bit, node by node, school by school, and try to determine what's in the best interest of families, communities and the schools,” Goettee said.

The school board will finalize the reassignment plan in February.

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  • NC is my home Jan 14, 2008

    Let me get this straight: These people come & overcrowd our county; take jobs away from North Carolinians; crowd our roads, shopping areas, schools, etc. As a result the crime rate has gone up, and housing, most goods & services, etc are up to "Yankee prices" and they don't like the results of it!!!

    Our quality of life has gone way down, so YANKEE GO HOME (and illegals, etc. too) Keep North Carolina safe & clean for North Carolinians! If you aren't contributing to the community, don't settle here expecting things.

  • chargernut69 Jan 14, 2008

    .....glad to see that the "socio-economic" factor is the main driving force behind the school board.... you don't want education, children & the family as the main focus!

    Is this absurd or what?....

  • MamaBear Jan 14, 2008

    I have never answered the "race" question. I always write N/A in that area. Not Applicable - never been asked to correct it. They need to stop associating race with "reduced lunch". They say it is "socioeconomic" but where are the income questions on the students card.

    I CHALLENGE ALL PARENTS THIS COMING SCHOOL YEAR TO WRITE NOT APPLICABLE ON THEIR STUDENTS REGISTRATION CARDS UNDER RACE.

  • rolexricky Jan 14, 2008

    If you think things are rough in wake county, check out Nash Rocky Mount Schools. You'll go back home and be thankful.

  • NeverSurrender Jan 14, 2008

    "Every year my children bring home the "application for reduced lunches". I have always wondered why it asks what race we are. I thought that was not supposed to be an issue. What would happen if evryone refused to answer that one question?"

    ---

    Feel free to add the following boxes and tick the appropriate one:

    [ ] H. sapiens

    [ ] H. superior

    Because frankly, that's the only two possibilities for race for humans that I'm aware of. OTOH, ETHNICITY is a completely different concept which is what they're really asking after.

    You would think supposedly educated people would understand what "race" truly means but given it's rampant abuse in today's society, you'd apparently be quite wrong.

    (Thanks for the heads up on which school form demands ethnicity and income...I think I'll bin that one when it comes home with the kids! It'd be a choice irony considering that the quality of food served was worthy of binning at best and the students should be paid for being guinea pigs!)

  • denverbob234 Jan 13, 2008

    momof2, we get the same application, I have yet to fill it out. I don't think I want the school system to know our household income, it is none of there business and we are not interested in an social programs. I just wish others would pull their own weight so we would not have to waste our time getting those applications sent home.

  • teach4er Jan 13, 2008

    momof2, it is interesting to note that not everyone who is eligible for F/R lunch applies, so the F/R lunch percentage that is given in the News and Observer is not entirely accurate.

  • momof2 Jan 13, 2008

    Every year my children bring home the "application for reduced lunches". I have always wondered why it asks what race we are. I thought that was not supposed to be an issue. What would happen if evryone refused to answer that one question?

  • DrunkSober Jan 13, 2008

    You whiners are still discussing this?Please sell your PCs and get into private school because WCPSS will NEVER change,so please change yourselves!

  • denverbob234 Jan 13, 2008

    navy vet, being citizens that supposibly vote, you and I are "the man" so yes, we can beat ourselves

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