Local News

Few Days Remain to Voice Opinions About Reassignment

Posted December 27, 2007 9:13 p.m. EST
Updated December 27, 2007 9:56 p.m. EST

— Parents who don't like this year's Wake County School reassignment proposal only have a few more days to voice their opinions. The comment period ends Jan. 1.

Three new elementary schools will open next year - two in western Wake County and one in northern Wake County. About 6,400 students are slated to move to different schools next year as a result.

In recent years, the Wake County Public School System has moved as many as 11,000 students in one year as part of reassignment to as few as 2,000 another year. Each time, there are changes in between, and parents are readying to plead their case.

In the sometimes complicated world of Wake school reassignments, Judy Andrus said she feels her fight to keep her child at Farmington Woods Elementary in Cary is quite simple.

“We’re very close and we just feel that we should be able to walk to our community school,” Andrus said.

At this point, 6,400 students are slated to shift to other schools next year to fill three brand new schools and relieve overcrowding. More than 100 students are being reassigned from Farmington Woods to Briarcliff, because Briarcliff is losing 102 students to the new Laurel Park Elementary School.

Wake County School Board Member Beverley Clark said the plan is far from a done deal. It will be revised before the board reviews it on Jan. 8.

“We always get feedback,” Clark said. “I’m sure there will be revision. That’s the whole point of putting it out there … That’s what I always tell people, don’t just say you don’t like it, make a constructive alternative.”

Andrus said she knows a school system with 140,000 students is complicated.

“I know their job is difficult,” she said. “I would not know where to begin to tell them how to do it.”

But Andrus said she hopes board members understand her neighborhood's plea: to stay at a school within walking distance rather than attend one 1.5 miles away.

“We are not the cause of the overcrowding. We shouldn’t have to be the ones to move,” she said.

The board will finalize a plan in February.

One unknown factor that will affect future reassignments is the school board's appeal to a judge's ruling that makes year-round schools voluntary. The Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Jan. 9.