Local News

Wake School Board to Vote on Reassignment Plan

Posted June 5, 2007 5:45 a.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2007 8:56 p.m. EDT

— Thousands of Wake County students are waiting to find out where they will go to school next year. On Tuesday evening, school board members planned to vote on the reassignment plan, which affects 2,626 students who opted out of the year-round calendar.

Consent forms went home recently, asking parents to choose between year-round and traditional schools. About 95 percent of families are staying with year-round, but the other 5 percent want to go to a traditional-calendar school.

When assigning the students back to traditional-calendar schools, three key topics were considered, one of which was trying to keep schools at capacity. Board members identified 25 schools that might be able to accommodate more students, but they said some of them are at or over capacity already.

For example at Rolesville Elementary, the school is currently at 66 percent of its capacity. By the next school year, it could balloon to nearly 120 percent capacity because a preliminary plan from the school board has 160 students shuffling to Rolesville after they opted out of year-round.

The school board had to look at other variables to come up with a reassignment plan. It wanted to maintain a reasonable percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunches. Transportation was also another key element as new bus routes will need to be created to take students to their assigned schools.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled in May that it was illegal for the school system to assign students to year-round schools without parental consent, and that led to forms going home with all the students in year-round schools and those who would be assigned to them.

Wake Cares Inc., a group opposed to mandatory conversion of schools to year-round schedules, filed a suit that led to Manning's ruling.

If the school board signs off on the proposal, letters could go out to parents Wednesday. The recommendations put together by the school board will be in effect only for the 2007-08 school year.