Local News

Magnet Decision Leaves Many Parents Unhappy

Posted April 22, 2003 4:18 a.m. EDT

— It's that time of year again, when Wake County families find out if their children got into magnet and year-round schools.

The schools are more popular than ever. But the number of applications far exceeds the number of spots, leaving many families who try to get their kids in year after year disappointed yet again.

Letters are pouring into the Wake County school offices from parents accepting the highly-coveted spots in magnet and year-round schools.

This year, there were more than 10,000 applications for just under 4,000 empty seats in year-round and magnet schools. Some parents said it's a complicated equation that doesn't give them enough choice.

"There was no chance I could have gotten both of my daughters into the school this year," one parent said.

Some parents in Cary say this is the second year they failed to get their kids into Oak Grove, a popular year-round elementary school. One woman said she applied for one daughter two years in a row.

Recently, the school system decided to cut some classes from several crowded year-round schools, meaning even fewer spots available.

One parent said it seems as if Wake County has an agenda it's not telling everyone about. She said this is the second year the school system has "changed the rules" after the applications were due in.

"The major factor in the whole process is trying to keep all schools healthy."

Ramey Beavers is the Director of Growth Management for Wake Schools. He said the year-round class cuts were necessary to reduce over-crowding.

"I have to make that call," Beavers said, "regardless of: am I going to make this group unhappy, or that group unhappy, or is this parent not going to get what they want for their child?"