Local News

Supreme Court to hear year-round school case

Posted August 27, 2008 12:50 p.m. EDT

— The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to rule on the debate over mandatory year-round schools in Wake County.

The move comes three months after the state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that school district officials didn't need to obtain parental consent to assign students to year-round schools.

WakeCARES, a parent's group that has fought mandatory year-round school assignments for two years, requested a Supreme Court hearing on the case.

No date has been set for arguments before the high court.

Wake County school officials last year converted 22 elementary and middle schools to year-round calendars to keep pace with enrollment growth. Because year-round schools use a rotating schedule of classes and three-week vacations among four "tracks" of students, the schools can accommodate more students than tradition schools.

Parents sued the school district to block the move, and Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled in May 2007 that parents had to give their consent before students could be assigned to year-round schools.

Most families assigned to the converted year-round schools approved of the move, but the hundreds of families opted to remain in traditional schools. That left some year-round schools underenrolled and aggravated overcrowding at some traditional schools.

The Supreme Court earlier issued a stay in the case, preventing Wake County schools officials from implementing the appeals court decision, until justices decided whether to hear an appeal. That stay remains in effect.