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Wake County School Board Releases Latest Reassignment Proposal

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County School Board has released a newer proposal that will shake up where thousands of kids go to school.

It is the reassignment plan for next school year. Unless there are drastic changes, it is shaping up to be the largest reassignment plan in Wake County's history.

The latest proposal was released Tuesday on the school system's

Web site.

The school board is gearing up for a public hearing March 17, before voting on a final plan at the end of March or in early April.

Seven new schools are opening next school year. Reassignment will fill those schools, relieve overcrowding and increase diversity.

"We continue to listen to suggestions we receive from parents as we refine plans for opening new schools next year," Superintendent Bill McNeal said. "This proposed plan is the latest step in a long conversation we're having with the community to fill the new schools our growing county requires."

After receiving community input during a two-week comment period, Wake County Public School System staff presented a proposed plan to the school board that included 550 fewer students. It still proposes new assignments for about 8,000 students.

Nearly 2,000 pieces of feedback were processed, leading to a number of changes to the initial proposal released on Jan. 21.

The new proposal recommends that 6,493 students be reassigned and 1,345 students be moved for year-round transportation changes, for a total of 7,838 students.

Under the new proposal, most students will get an assignment that is closer to home.

Parents can register online to speak at public hearings starting Wednesday morning, or they can call the district office.

Another possible shakeup to the plan was diverted earlier Tuesday. The Raleigh City Council voted to allow mobile classrooms to remain at Brassfield Elementary for two more years.

The Jan. 21 proposal was developed after a series of 11 community engagementmeetings held last fall. The first meetings were in September.

Current enrollment for 2003-2004 is 108,970 students. The Wake County PlanningDepartment predicts enrollment will be 113,150 next year.

The new schools opening for 2004-2005 are Forestville Road Elementary, Jones Dairy Elementary, Heritage Middle and Knightdale High in eastern Wake County, and Highcroft Drive Elementary, Turner Creek Elementary and Salem Middle in western Wake County.

Jones Dairy Elementary, Turner Creek Elementary and Heritage Middle will operate on the year-round calendar.

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