Local News

Driver's ed funding remains a top concern for Wake County parents, teens

Posted August 17, 2015 7:03 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2015 7:04 p.m. EDT

— While lawmakers drag their feet on a state budget, the issue of funding driver's education programs in Wake County continues to worry parents and teens.

On Saturday, a popular driver's education provider in Wake County announced classes were suspended - and then took the statement back, adding to the confusion.

"It's not just a threat to our teenagers, it's a threat to everyone driving on our roads," said Tom Benton, Wake County school board vice chair.

Benton said he is frustrated that state lawmakers cannot agree whether to keep the driver's education requirement and $26 million in funding.

"It is a shame that we have parents and students in this kind of situation," he said. "We are seeking every way we can come up with what the solution will be, so that we can provide it."

Tim Lucas, of the North Carolina Rate Bureau, said law makers have not consulted insurers.

"I would hate to think I was on the road with inexperienced operators and they were learning the rules of the road while driving," Lucas said.

For now, teens and their families are forced to learn patience, while others spend more than $400 on instruction with a private driver's ed company.

The Wake County School Board told WRAL News it hopes to clarify the availability of drivers ed, at least in the short term, during its meeting Tuesday night.