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School Board Hears Final Appeals On Wake Co. Reassignment

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Twenty-four hours before the Wake County Board of Education was expected to vote on a reassignment plan, board members listened to parents voice their concerns about how their children were added to the massive plan -- as parents say, at the last minute.

Under pressure from hundreds of parents, the Wake County school board decided to remove nearly 1,000 students from the reassignment plan at its March 8 meeting. In doing so, however, it added 142 students who were originally supposed to be unaffected.

The parents were notified just days before the school board was set to approve the plan March 21.

"This decision was made very late in the process," said parent Stephen Signorelli.

Shelly Hobbs considered the change an insult.

"On March 11, when families got letters, the door of consideration was slammed in our faces. The magnet school application deadline has now passed," Hobbs told the board.

Another concern is that incoming high school freshmen who had already chosen their classes are now left wondering what elective courses will be available at their new school.

The message is getting through to some board members.

"They have a good point about the freshmen who have picked their curriculum," said school board member Carol Parker. "We will have to take a look at that (Tuesday)."

But some parents wonder if any changes will happen on the day of the vote. Some seem to say they are now on their own.

"Come back to us when you can put a plan that is successful in front of us," said parent Amy Heakins. "Until then, don't ask us to be a part of this failed mission."

Board members said they would consider making more changes to the reassignment plan before they finalize it, but they stressed that any changes would be minimal.


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