Local News

Wake School Board Approves Reassignment Plan

Posted February 6, 2007 4:42 p.m. EST
Updated February 9, 2007 1:59 p.m. EST

— The Wake County Board of Education Tuesday approved a reassignment plan that would shift 10,762 students, including 8,003 elementary and 2,759 middle school students.

The plan also means that 22 existing elementary and middle schools will be converted to a mandatory year-round schedule beginning the 2007-2008 school year.

The changes to the board's Jan. 9 plan includes 7,422 base assignments, 2,335 year-round conversion assignments and 1,005 application year-round students moving to another year-round school. In most cases, students were moved to a school closer to their home.

The school board's decision to approve  the plan by a 7-1 vote comes amidst ongoing funding problems between the Wake County Public School System and the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

School board Chairwoman Patti Head expressed regret that county commissioners "reneged on a promise," making it more difficult to accommodate student growth.

Commissioners voted on Monday to withhold about $4.7 million from a $970 million school construction bond that was allocated to year-round conversion, a major component of the reassignment plan.

"We're adopting this plan without any funding," said school board member Ron Margiotta, the only dissenting member of the board. "I can't understand how in the world we can adopt this plan without any funding."

"I think this is going to create a lot of disharmony in the school district," Margiotta added.

The school board has vowed to find ways to fund the year-round conversions.

The reassigned students would fill the additional seats created by the year-round conversions and fill five new schools, including three year-round elementary schools -- East Garner Elementary, North Forest Pines Elementary and Sanford Creek Elementary -- and two middle schools: East Cary Middle and Wendell Middle.

The school system anticipates an additional 8,500 students next school year.