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Wake Commissioners, School Board Members Discuss Rapid Student Growth

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake County school leaders are making a $5 billion plea to county commissioners. They need the money for new schools, and it could cost people more in the future.

County commissioners and school board members sat down Wednesday to discuss several proposals to deal with the rapid growth of students in Wake County.

School board members said converting as many as 91 schools to year-round schedules could decrease the $5.6 billion projected cost to build and renovate schools over the next 10 years by about $1.3 billion.

"The average district size in this state is about 6,000 students, so we are growing a Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district each year," said Wake County superintendent Bill McNeal.

"The kinds of numbers we are talking about right now are so staggering that what I hear from people in my district and my neighborhood is, 'Whoa, when are we going to slow this pace down?'" said school board member Beverley Clark.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposals by the end of January. Voters are expected to vote on them in a bond referendum set for November.


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