Local News

Chatham schools hear from parents on grade-shifting plan

Posted February 15, 2011 9:54 p.m. EST

— Wake County schools aren't the only district shuffling students around as a cost-saving measure.

Hundreds of parents attended a meeting Tuesday night about a Chatham County schools plan that would break up schools that had a kindergarten through 8th grade configuration. It's a tough sell for some parents, whose families have attended the same school for generations.

About 940 of the district’s 7,800 students would be reassigned, school officials said last month.

Nine of the affected schools would become K-5. Four schools would convert to grades 6 through 8.

In January, Superintendent Robert Logan said that K-8 schools cost more to run because the state provides funding based on the number of students enrolled.

School officials said the plan could save the district about $1 million. The school system is facing a projected $4.5 million budget shortfall for the 2011-12 school year.

Tuesday's meeting was the first of three public hearings being held to consider parents' input before moving forward with the plan.