Cary, N.C. — Wake County Public School System staff presented the Board of Education Tuesday with its proposed temporary student assignment plan for the 2013-14 school year that reassigns less than 1 percent of the school system's student population.
Minimizing reassignments and creating stability for Wake County families was one of the goals of the school board when it directed staff to change the current controlled-choice plan in June.
The staff presented a plan to the board Tuesday that would reassign 1,479 students.
The 2013-14 assignment plan, which will only remain in place for one year while a permanent plan is created for 2014-15, focuses primarily on filling three new schools in the Rolesville and Wake Forest areas.
"I think we saw with the choice plan, that was not going to happen," said board Chair Kevin Hill.
Another challenge facing the school system is capacity, as the student population continues to grow year after year. About three dozen schools face enrollment caps, which could force children to schools further away from home. A grandfather provision in the proposal could further reduce the number of reassignments.
"We have to face the reality (that) certain school can not absorb all the people in their base area," said board member Susan Evans.
Board member Debra Goldman, however, said tweaking the current plan would have been better than creating a new proposal.
"We should have been keeping the choice plan, building upon that, tweaking and making changes where we need to," she said.
Board members agreed that no amount of reassignments should be taken lightly.
"If you are one of those 1,500 (families), it is critical to you," Goldman said.
"We intend to look at this very, very closely – regardless of the number of families who may be impacted by this," Hill said.
Parents are invited to weigh in on the proposal during three public comment sessions:
- Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Sanderson High School in Raleigh
- Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Davis Drive Middle School in Cary
- Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Rolesville Middle School in Rolesville
In June, the school board voted in favor of changing the district's current three-year plan, which is less than a year old, in an effort to improve upon it.
Under a board directive, school system staff developed the proposed plan so that it combines elements of the current "controlled-choice plan," in which parents have more input into where their children go to school, and a neighborhood model that links each Wake County address with a base elementary, middle and high school.