Johnston Board Approves New Clayton School Start Times
Posted August 14, 2007 5:40 a.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2007 6:40 p.m. EDT
Smithfield, N.C. — The Johnston County School Board voted 4-3 Tuesday to implement new start times for Clayton-area schools when doors open in two weeks, a way to make more trips with the same number of school buses and to avoid worsening a $2 million budget shortfall.
The board's meeting was heavily attended by parents upset that they found out only in recent weeks about the planned changes. An early motion to delay the vote – and the new schedule – failed.
The plan calls for schools to start between 15 and 30 minutes earlier or later than last year. School starts Aug. 27.
Because of a growing population, the county would have to buy more buses to handle all the runs necessary if start times remain as they have been.
The plan raised the ire of parents, who claimed they first heard about the proposal a few weeks ago.
“If this had been planned, it should have been talked about in May,” said PTA President Jennifer Hall. “Trying to get our kids to school by 9 is really difficult, especially for working parents. Trying to make arrangements at this late time is difficult as well.”
The proposal affects schools in the Clayton area this year, but it would go county-wide in two years, according to school officials.