Wake County Schools

Tata: Despite concerns, assignment plan is on track

Posted January 6, 2012 2:30 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2012 3:30 p.m. EST

— Wake County Public School System Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday that, as far as he's concerned, the district's new choice-model student assignment plan is on track, despite some school board members wanting to put it on hold temporarily.

Earlier this week, members expressed concerns parents have about new feeder patterns, issues with the cost of the plan and the number of seats available in magnet schools.

Tata told reporters Friday that his staff is working through the weekend to research those concerns and that they will present their findings when the board meets Tuesday.

Board members disagreed about delaying the selection process. Some wanted to wait so that parents could get a better understanding of how the plan will work. Others said doing so could be disastrous.

The school system has held numerous information sessions and outreach events – even setting up a booth at the North Carolina State Fair – to answer parents' questions.

Under Tata's implementation plan, parents are set to begin Jan. 17 choosing and ranking which schools they want their children to attend for the 2012-13 school year.

Their choices are based on their address and include at least five elementary, two middle and two high schools. Those schools are a combination of traditional-calendar, year-round calendar, magnet and other specialty options.

The school system will begin notifying parents in mid-March of their assignments.

If the school board decides Tuesday to make changes or delay the plan, it's unclear how Tata's timeline could be affected.

Tata said he's not expecting a delay.

"I think the student assignment plan is broadly supported by our community," he said. "So, we are proceeding with the long-standing timeline to give parents the greatest amount of time to consider their options."