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Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Urges Teamwork on Year-Round Fight

Raleigh's Chamber of Commerce is asking the Wake school board and the county commissioners to work together on a year-round school plan that has split the two groups.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce recently sent a letter to the Wake County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education encouraging them to work together.

Last week, commissioners decided to withhold $3.4 million that would be used to convert 22 existing public schools to a mandatory year-round schedule.

School board members say they will not have enough space for students without the change.

"We encourage you to quickly resolve any inter-governmental conflict that undermines the credibility of your collective good work over the past year," the letter, dated Jan. 11, stated. "You arrived here together and you should go forward together as we have many more challenges to come in the years ahead."

Last week, school board Chairwoman Patti Head told WRAL that the commissioners' decision put a strain on the two board's relationship.

Head said both boards had agreed that converting the schools to a year-round calendar was part of a $970 million school construction bond to create more classroom space while keeping the tax hike lower.

County commissioners, however, said they do not feel they went back on any promises. They said they need more time to study the plan.

School board members said they will look at other ways to fund the $3.4 million and that the school system's attorney will look at legal options regarding the commissioners' vote.

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