Parents Protest Mandatory Year-Round Wake School Conversion
Posted October 3, 2006 11:56 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Nearly 100 people picketed outside the Wake County school board building Tuesday in response to the conversion of several schools to a mandatory year-round schedule.
Earlier this year, district leaders decided to convert 19 elementary schools and three middle schools for the next school year. They also want voters to pass a $970 million bond to pay for more space. The group, Stop Mandatory Year Round, is fighting both.
"We're not going to be quiet and walk away," said Cathy Bishop of Stop Mandatory Year Round. "What's going to end up happening is if they do go forward with the mandatory year-round (schools), what's then going to happen is a massive reassignment and then people are really going to panic."
"We understand that change is difficult and they are really passionate about their position," said Michael Evans, representative for Wake County schools. "The board of education has made a decision. As of today, they are standing behind that decision."
The group said $500 million of the proposed bond is specific for mandatory year-round enrollment. The group picketed the school district, demanding Wake County leaders recall mandatory year-round content from the bond.
School leaders said with 8,000 new students expected every year for the next five years, they need more space. They also said without the bond, more schools would have to go year-round. The system announced Monday that the official student count for the current year is 128,070, up 7,566 from the 2005-2006 figure.
Originally, the group called for a sick-out at school Tuesday, but members decided it was best to keep their children in school.