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Vote On Year-Round Schools Expected Today In Wake County

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Tuesday's vote by the Wake County school board will determine whether 19 elementary schools will be converted to a year-round calendar.

With crowded classrooms and thousands of new students on the way, Wake County school board members believe converting traditional schools to year-round calendars is the solution to keeping up with growth, but many parents have voiced their disapproval to the plan.

Board members cut the original list of 23 schools down to 19. In addition, they have already given preliminary approval to converting those schools in 2007.

"Most folks think that this is a quick fix, but it may not be a quick fix. It may become the norm," said school board member Rosa Gill.

Wake school officials said year-round schools can handle 25 percent to 30 percent more students each year. However, Bryan Coffey, who would have three kids on three different schedules, thinks it is a temporary fix.

"It's a band-aid solution," he said. "It's not really solving the problem. It's solving it for the next year or two years."

"I think you are asking the families of these 23 schools to shoulder the unfair burden of growth," said parent Diana Young-Paiva.

The school board is expected to vote at 2 p.m. Tuesday. School system officials are still talking about adding several middle schools to the list. If that happens, another public hearing would be scheduled.

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