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Wake school board will continue year-round battle

Posted May 27, 2008

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— After nearly two hours in a closed meeting with its attorney, the Wake County Board of Education decided Tuesday to move forward with its fight for mandatory year-round schools.

The board considered a state Supreme Court order that blocks it from implementing a Court of Appeals ruling that states the schools could assign children without asking for parental consent.

The state Supreme Court has not decided whether it will review the case. Its order is in effect at least until it makes that decision.

Ann Majestic, the school board's attorney, said Tuesday she plans to file a response by early next week to a motion by local parents group WakeCARES asking the high court hear the case.

WakeCARES says it hopes the Supreme Court hears the case since two lower courts have issued different rulings. If not, it plans to take its concerns to state lawmakers.

But Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, said the Legislature likely won't get involved until the court fight is over.

"I think what we need to do first is see where the courts come out on it," Ross said. "The school calendar law, in general, is pretty controversial. And so any change that people might want in it will definitely generate a lot of different opinions."

Meanwhile, the school district will continue using consent forms for year-round assignments until the case is resolved, Majestic said.

Parents still have the opportunity to opt out of year-round schools by June 1. Students registering after June 1 or not returning a consent letter by that date would be assigned to a year-round school under the board's current plan.

The back-and-forth court battles have caused a ripple effect. Parents have more questions about their children’s education, and educators are not sure how many teachers they will need or where to put them.

WakeCARES sued the school system last year over its plans to convert 22 elementary and middle schools from traditional schedules to year-round calendars.

They contend the district does not have the authority to mandate attendance at year-round schools and said the new schedule would disrupt the lives of hundreds of families.

District administrators maintain they needed to operate more schools on year-round calendars to accommodate growing enrollments.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning sided with the parents last May, saying the district needed the consent of parents before assigning any student to a year-round school.

The district proceeded to convert the schools, but hundreds of families opted out of going to them and were assigned to traditional schools for the 2007-2008 year, leaving some schools under-enrolled and others extremely overcrowded.

Three weeks ago in a unanimous vote, the appeals court overturned Manning's ruling, saying state law doesn't preclude a school district from assigning students to year-round schools.

Despite that ruling, the school board voted to leave the 2008-2009 student assignment plan in place.

72 Comments

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  • TheAdmiral May 28, 2008

    I think I will run for School Board.

  • Adelinthe May 28, 2008

    "Let's vote the current dictatorship out!"

    AMEN, AND AMEN!!!

    But even before this current dictatorship with excuses, there was another and another before that.

    We need to get some non-politicians on the Commission, like real parents with no political ambitions who understand and represent both sides.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Rodney F May 28, 2008

    How prevalent are year round schools through out the United States, no kids in school just a tax payer who is curious.

  • PickAnotherID May 28, 2008

    What I want to know is if the School Board gets it's way will they also be picking up the day care tab for parents who have to work the kids on YR are 'tracked out'? They're worried about costs to the county, what about the costs to the parents?

  • NE Raleigh May 28, 2008

    Basically YR works for some, doesn't for others. Some love it, some don't. It should be a choice between YR and traditional, that's what would make Wake County attractive. Remember, elections for schoolboard seats are comming, something like half or nearly up for re-eletion. Let's vote the current dictatorship out! Are you listening Lori Milberg?

  • Adelinthe May 28, 2008

    "Let's not forget that YR was instituted as a way to make better use of school facilities and reduce school contruction."

    While WCPSS uses this rationale as an excuse, several states (California being one) which tried it found that it failed to provide either benefit and went back to traditional.

    Interesting is it not?

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe May 28, 2008

    jgirl - "rational thinking, your lucky you didnt call me a whiner, my point was that yr should not be mandatory, it doesnt matter if you think someones reasons are silly for not wanting their kids to go to yr the point is the parents have the right to do what they see fit for their own kids, not you and not some crazy left wing out of control school board."

    AMEN, AND AMEN!!!

    Each family's needs are different and while the lame WCPSS can not cater to everyone, they should at least offer two options.

    Besides, in my way of thinking, year round schools are just another place for parents with scewed priorities, i.e. career over child, to find a shelf to put their kids on for hours during the day while they chase their own dreams.

    Shameful!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • jgirl5830 May 28, 2008

    rational thinking, your lucky you didnt call me a whiner, my point was that yr should not be mandatory, it doesnt matter if you think someones reasons are silly for not wanting their kids to go to yr the point is the parents have the right to do what they see fit for their own kids, not you and not some crazy left wing out of control school board. I'll say it again i like my daughter home in the summer, I like the long break for her,and luckily i dont have to deal with YR because her school is not affected.

  • poohperson2000 May 27, 2008

    what.. Most of the kids are US citizens. If they were born here they are US citizens..

  • whatelseisnew May 27, 2008

    I don't have children in the system; and I pay a lot in taxes. Parents deserve to have choice. We pay far to much money to have an out of control, uncaring, abusive board force kids to spend hours on busing ramming around the county, so they can keep their racist policies in place. I have consistently voted against the incumbents in my district and have encouraged many others to do the same. We need a school board that focuses on education instead of how many of each kind of student is going to a particular school. They have been given ample money, they need to have ICE keep a person in each place of school registration. Once we clean all the illegals out there will be plenty of space.

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