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Wake trims 1,000 students from reassignment plan

Officials will hold more public meetings in January to take comments before they finalize a plan in February.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake County school administrators unveiled a reassignment proposal Tuesday that would move 1,000 fewer students than first proposed.

The revised plan takes into account comments that parents and others made during five public meetings in recent weeks and more than 4,000 online comments submitted to school district administrators.

The initial plan called for moving 26,500 students over the next three years. The new draft reassigns 25,486 during that period.

Under the latest plan, about 9,800 students will be reassigned next year, another 11,008 the following year and 4,677 for the 2011-2012 school year.

"This plan is the result of many hundreds of hours of time spent collaborating and arguing and looking at data," said Chuck Dulaney, the district's assistant superintendent for growth and planning.

Many of the students will be moved to 10 schools scheduled to open in the next three years. The school system also says it needs to make room for low-income students who are often bused to schools to meet economic diversity goals the district imposes on itself.

"The growth in this county ... continues, despite the fact that the national economy is obviously very troubled," Dulaney said.

The reassignment proposal is the Wake County Public School System's effort to begin planning for population growth and student movement more than one year at a time. Administrators have said planning for three years would save money for schools and lessen aggravation for families.

Some parents remain unconvinced about the district's goals for reassignment.

"We're just wondering what's going to be happening next year. Are our kids going to be on the same or different schedules?" parent Eric Blau said. "It's going to affect probably 1,000 families at Leesville Middle (School) alone."

The district will post the revised reassignment plan on its Web site at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The school board will hold a new round of public meetings based on the latest draft in January and will finalize the reassignment plan by Feb. 3.

Mailings will then be sent to the parents of affected students, who will know their final assignments by mid-May.


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