Local News

Wake Schools to Hold Public Hearing on Reassignment Plan

Posted January 15, 2008 6:57 a.m. EST
Updated January 15, 2008 9:23 a.m. EST

— The fight continues today over where children should go to elementary school in Wake County. The district could reassign more than 6,800 students under its draft plan for next school year, but some parents don't want their children to change schools.

Tonight, those parents will get a chance to be heard. The first of three public hearings will be held at Sanderson High School tonight. Some parents have begun protests already.

“We love this community. I volunteer at the school. My children can walk to school,” said parent Ryn Hagstrom.

Hundreds of parents have protested the idea that their children might have to change schools next year under the district's reassignment proposal.

The Board of Education will decide.

“For me to actually advocate for a change in the reassignment plan, I need to see a reason that rises above those shared by all other parents in the system,” said school board member Eleanor Goettee.

School district administrators say reassignment is inevitable.

“We don’t get some kind of sick pleasure from it. Since 2000, we’ve had 30,000 students enter the Wake County Public School System,” said schools spokesman Michael Evans. “At the same time, we’ve reassigned about 30,000. So, it’s a direct function of growth.”

District officials said they also try to balance economic diversity to make sure no school has a high concentration of low-income students.

The reassignment plan is not final.

The board will hold two more hearings on the draft plan – Thursday at Green Hope High and Jan. 24 at Middle Creek High. Each public hearing will be from 7-9 p.m.

People can register online to participate in the public hearings. Online registration ends at midnight the night before the hearing date. People can also register by calling Wake Schools’ Customer Service Center during business hours at 850-1600.

People also can register at the public hearing site in the hour before the public hearing begins. The board will first hear people who have registered online or by phone prior, then those who sign up in the hour before the hearing.

To allow the maximum number of speakers, people may sign up to speak at only one of the public hearings. Each speaker will get three minutes.