Student Assignment Plans to Unveil Choices

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Parents to learn about Wake schools assignment proposal

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Wake County parents will get the chance Wednesday evening to learn more about a student assignment plan that would give them a say in which school their child goes to but leaves some concerns about transportation and capacity.

Superintendent Tony Tata and members of his student assignment task force will talk to the public over the next three weeks about the choice-based student assignment plan he proposed in May. It replaces a decade-old busing for diversity program.

School board members seemed satisfied with the direction of the plan after a presentation by Tata earlier in August.

"It's a very thoughtful plan, trying to come up with the best possible solutions and trying to make as many people happy or satisfied as possible," school board member Keith Sutton said.

"We are headed in the right direction now," school board vice-chair John Tedesco said. "You saw the survey. Parents wanted proximity. That's everything we've been fighting for for two years."

The new plan would let parents rank their choices among a variety of schools based on their address. Tata said an online test run of the plan showed that most parents are likely to choose the school nearest their home.

Recent updates to the proposal include adding proposed feeder patterns and broadening the options for students whose closest school is a magnet school.

School board members have expressed some concern about overcrowding popular schools and the cost of the proposal.

Tedesco said earlier in August that he is especially worried about Garner High School, which has a high number of mobile classrooms to accommodate its burgeoning enrollment.

"An excess of 2,000 additional students in a school built for 1,600? That's not right," Tedesco said.

The cost of transportation is also a question mark, depending on which schools parents want to send their children to.

"It may go up. It may go down," Tata said. "We've got good data that should get us in the ballpark of knowing exactly what that number is."

The student assignment task force will meet with the public 6:30-8 p.m. on:

  • Aug. 31 at Middle Creek High, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave. in Apex
  • Sept. 1 at Wakefield High, 2200 Wakefield Pines Dr. in Raleigh
  • Sept. 7 at Apex High, 1501 Laura Duncan Road in Apex
  • Sept. 8 at Southeast Raleigh High, 2600 Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh
  • Sept. 13 at Broughton High, 723 St. Mary's St. in Raleigh
  • Sept. 15 at East Wake High, 5101 Rolesville Road in Wendell

Tata hopes to bring a final plan for student assignment to the school board in October.



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