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Sen. Neal Hunt sponsoring neighborhood schools bill

Posted February 23, 2009
Updated February 24, 2009

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— A bill before the North Carolina General Assembly is aimed at putting end to the controversial school busing issue.

If passed, the Neighborhood Schools & Teacher Merit Pay bill would require reassigned students who live within one and a half miles of a school be assign to that school, or the district must provide a voucher for the student to attend private school.

Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake is sponsoring the bill.

"If you lived right near a school, what sense does it make to pack that person up and bus them across town,” Hunt said.

Officials with Wake County schools say only 3 percent of students involuntarily get bused to a school more than 5 miles away.

School officials also say student reassignment is primarily to account for projected growth. Districts also need to make room for low-income students who are often bused to meet economic-diversity goals for each school.

Also, under the bill, staff at schools that meet expectations would not get bonuses; only those at schools that exceed expectations would get them.

"It makes absolute sense to pay the best teachers more than the worst teachers,” Hunt said.

A similar bill proposed last year didn't pass after getting a failing grade from the North Carolina Association of Educators. A spokesperson from the association was not available for comment Monday night.

3 Comments

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  • tobis19341 Feb 24, 2009

    finally an elected official doing something that people actually want and makes sense.

  • Bob3425 Feb 24, 2009

    what the selling point for some house? The school your kid will attend.

  • inform Feb 24, 2009

    It's curious how Wake officials won't own up to their social experimentation with economic diversity, by first downplaying the magnitude of it, then supporting it with growth projections that have been consistently wrong. I like Mr. Hunt's plan, because it makes the school board accountable for it's bussing policies, and gives parents a choice.