Parents make last push against school reassignment proposal
Wake County Schools held their final community engagement meeting Monday evening on the system's plan to reassign more than 26,000 students over the next three years.Posted — Updated
The meeting, at Broughton High School, 723 St. Mary's St., was packed with nearly 1,000 parents voicing their concerns before the final draft of the reassignment plan is sent to the Board of Education.
The Percy family was the first to speak at the podium. High school students in their neighborhood have been reassigned many times.
The area was assigned to "Cary High School, then got moved to Green Hope, (then) back to Cary High School, then got moved to Panther Creek High and now they want to move it back to Cary High School,” parent Steve Percy said.
The latest reassignment would make five changes in 11 years, and Ian and Micaela Percy said they hope that doesn't happen.
“It's a great toll, mainly on relationships. You have to make all new friends,” student Ian Percy said.
The reassignment proposal is the Wake County Public School System's effort to begin planning for population growth and student movement more than a year in advance. Administrators have said planning for three years would save money for schools and lessen aggravation for families.
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 has set for itself.
Changes have already been made to the draft based on parent feedback from what the schools term the community engagement meetings. School officials say they will make their final recommendation to the school board on Dec. 16.
There was a serious debate Monday evening about whether Broughton High will keep its magnet status.
"We love neighborhood schools, but it is awesome that Broughton is a combination of a neighborhood school with an international focus and an expectation of excellence that is for every student at the school,” Broughton High graduate Courtney Crumpler said.
Former and current students held signs and candles in protest outside of Monday's community meeting.
Some people say the magnet status is why the school is such a good place to learn. However, some school board members say the high school is so successful, it no longer meets the criteria to be a magnet school.
A rally is planned Tuesday at the school, and the school board is scheduled to vote on the status Wednesday.
Overall, the number of students reassigned is comparable to those moved in the past three one-year plans.
How the plan was formed
Officials said they also considered schools' socioeconomic balance, the distance students would be bussed and the state's magnet-school policy.
Mailings will then be sent out to the parents of affected students, who will know their final assignments by mid-May of next year.