Education

Yes, it's that time of (school) year again

Posted August 24
Updated August 25

School Bus

— Traditional calendar students across central North Carolina return to school Monday (Cumberland County students start Tuesday) amid changes and uncertainty for public education:

  • School districts statewide are finalizing their 2014-15 budgets due to the late passage of the state budget, which left the Wake County Public School System with a $12.6 million budget shortfall. The reduced funding has already led the state’s largest school district to cut 116 bus routes and 4,000 bus stops, resulting in some students walking farther to and from their stops. Additional programming and staffing cuts may also happen.
  • Wake school leaders are considering a student enrollment plan that would adjust the attendance zones for 63 schools for the 18,000 students the district expects to receive over the next four years. About 3,000 new students are expected for the 2014-15 school year.
  • The district is also working on a five-year strategic plan, which is expected to be ready by December.
  • Teachers and other education professionals received a raise – depending on who you ask – out of the state budget.
  • Monday is also the first day of school for Bert L’Homme as Durham Public Schools superintendent.

One constant remaining from last school year is teacher retention, an ongoing issue Wake County schools Superintendent Jim Merrill addressed during a recent WRAL interview.

“A lot of pats on the back,” he said when asked about what the district is doing to keep teachers. “We try to provide professional development opportunities for them wtihin the schools and outside the schools. But it’s been a tough four or five years for teachers in North Carolina, in particular Wake County, as the data has shown.”

But for now, traffic delays are expected Monday as commuters will once again share the roads with school busses. In Cary, heavy delays are expected near Green Hope High School due to construction.

Wake students will be among the more than 1 million travelling to and from school statewide, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Is your child heading back to, or starting school on Monday? Send us a photo!

14 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • Classified Aug 25, 1:14 p.m.

    yea, and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up, yea wake county you have it... View More

    — Posted by mcorson2

    It's the first day of school with a lot of route changes, expect a few hiccups and plan on maybe... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    We all pay for that lack of service. We should all be up in arms about it. It should be a big... View More

    — Posted by smcallah

    Why don't we wait to how many times, if any, that it happens again before sounding the alarms. Geesh, I'm sure not all that any of us do is perfect all the time.

  • Anita Woody Aug 25, 1:06 p.m.

    What is the difference between this year and three years ago. Class sizes have gone from an... View More

    — Posted by tracmister

    I saw a commercial just this morning thanking Speaker Tillis and Governor McCrory for giving our teachers the largest pay raises ever and giving teachers the most funding for their classrooms ever. ;-)

  • tracmister Aug 25, 12:14 p.m.

    What is the difference between this year and three years ago. Class sizes have gone from an average 25 students to 35 students. Thank you Mr. Tillis.

  • Save It Aug 25, 12:14 p.m.

    and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up
    ^^^^^^^^
    I am on your side. But according to... View More

    — Posted by a-moment-of-truth

    A new age conservative value is not to count on the government for anything and they are working diligently to make sure you can't. Remember the edict:

    Find a bible and a gun, hunker down and pull up your boot straps, every person for themselves, no one owes you anything and "there is no society" or "community". Equality is only for those who want hand outs and everything, including public safety and your health should be privatized for profit. Don't forget this. Otherwise prepare to be corrected by the privileged, righteous indignation of the pretentious true conservative.

  • smcallah Aug 25, 11:56 a.m.

    yea, and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up, yea wake county you have it... View More

    — Posted by mcorson2

    It's the first day of school with a lot of route changes, expect a few hiccups and plan on maybe... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    We all pay for that lack of service. We should all be up in arms about it. It should be a big deal. If it didn't work for everyone, that means tax payer money was wasted on day one.

    The route changes didn't just happen this morning. They were known.

    If it wasn't paid for by our tax money, then yes, parents should absolutely be ready with a backup plan to get the kids to school.

    But that is not possible for everyone. Some people have hourly jobs and can't be late, some work shifts. Not everyone can take off the first day of school to ensure their kids get to where they are going. That is what we pay taxes for. That is what we entrust the public school system to achieve.

    And what is going to be your excuse when problems continue into the next day, and the next, and the next week, as they have in many previous years now?

    It was nice talking to you Mr. Superintendent.

  • jwsawyer Aug 25, 11:27 a.m.

    To whom it concerns. ..... I see that you are talking about wake county and all other county's. .... I feel that you have for got about Moore county with it being there first day to.... but I guess you have more to cover up in wake county.... the only time i see you covering Moore county is when golf is in full swing. ... sincerely a Moore county resident

    Excuse me, "you have for got about Moore county", Actually it is "you have forgotten about Moore County ". Maybe we need to increase our funding of the Moore County school system.

  • EricaSliver Aug 25, 10:27 a.m.

    I have a JoCo middle-schooler and this is our first year of public school and using the school bus. I was impressed that the bus driver personally called last night to introduce herself and let us know the bus number and exact pick-up and drop-off time. We already had the info from orientation, but the phone call really gave me peace of mind. Very impressed!

  • a-moment-of-truth Aug 25, 9:53 a.m.

    and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up
    ^^^^^^^^
    I am on your side. But according to posters here you shouldnt have had her, and thought about this at the time of conception. Why dont you have a back up plan they may to ask.... and that your plan shouldnt be to let someone else solve your problems.

  • Classified Aug 25, 9:51 a.m.

    yea, and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up, yea wake county you have it... View More

    — Posted by mcorson2

    It's the first day of school with a lot of route changes, expect a few hiccups and plan on maybe having to drop your child off at school yourself. What's the big deal?

  • mcorson2 Aug 25, 9:31 a.m.

    yea, and once again my daughter's bus didn't show up, yea wake county you have it together......not.....

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