Wake and Durham County Schools reassignment plan update

January 28, 2008 5:47:33 PM PST
The student shuffle is getting serious for the Wake County School Board and hundreds of parents.

The board is playing a numbers game, trying to place students in schools across the county to create diversity and ease overcrowding.

Fewer students will now be switching schools based on the number of changes school board members made during an all-day work session Monday.

However, some parents are happy, while others are not.

When parents protested the reassignment plan outside Davis Drive Elementary this month, school board members listened. They have held public hearings and individual ones.

After several days and many hours, the number of students moving out of Davis was nearly cut in half.

"It's about 127 staying there and 172 going away. So it's kind of bittersweet that's a good way to put it, yes," parent, Sandy Joiner said.

Bittersweet because Joiner's son will get to stay, his friends who live in the Macarthur Park Neighborhood will have to go to the new Laurel Park Elementary, even if they can walk to Davis.

School board members' original plan was to shuffle nearly 7,000 students to ease overcrowding at some schools to fill new ones, while meeting their diversity goal of limiting the number of lower income students to 40 percent at a given school.

"We're part of the domino effect; we need to move in order for other students to be bussed in." parent, Jennifer Etkin.

Etkin is falling victim to the school board's move to create more application seats in magnet schools.

School leaders cut the number of base students down so more students could apply for programs.

"When you look at some schools you have an overcrowding problem and others you have a diversity problem and sometimes when you address one problem, you create another, it's just difficult to look at all the angles and come up with a solution," school board member, Horace Tart said.

A solution that moves thousands of students farther from their homes, but thousands of others closer.

Lots of changes will go before the board in a final vote, a week from Tuesday.


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