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Wake Says Lawsuit Could Have Students Out in Winter Dark

Answering papers in a lawsuit over year-round school conversion say the alternative may be split schedules.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County school system Thursday held out the prospect of students leaving for school before sun-up and getting home after sunset as the possible result of a lawsuit challenging a move to impose year-round schedules for 22 schools this fall.

A group called Wake CARES has asked the court to stop to the school board’s plans to convert the 22 schools. The school system says overcrowding would result and would wreak havoc on school staff and force schools to adopt split schedules.

The group calls the schools’ statement a scare tactic.

"I would like to think, if people set down face-to-face and have a forum where everything could be aired out, then there should be some compromise, but the solution they've offered is not a fair compromise. That's intimadation. That's another threat," said Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams, a Wake CARES backer.

The lawsuit contends mandatory year-round schooling is against the state's constitution.

The school system says in its response that barring year-round would drastically disrupt its ability to plan for the future. If that extends to implementing split sessions, the district says, school would start at 7 a.m., so children could be leaving their houses as early as 6:15 every morning. Others wouldn't start until 1:30 p.m. and probably would not be back home out until after 7:30.

A judge will hear arguments in the suit April 18.


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