Garner pushes for more classroom space

April 9, 2008 6:22:58 PM PDT
The Town of Garner leaders are giving Wake County school leaders another ultimatum ? stop bussing so many low-income children to town or there won't be a new school built there. It's the second time Garner has taken what some consider to be a controversial stand. Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams has heard the accusations from the public, "I've been accused of being a racist," Williams explained, but he stands firm: No more Southeast Raleigh children in Garner schools.

"We're just asking them to build a school for the people in Southeast Raleigh so they don't have to be bussed all over the county," Williams explained.

He says Garner schools already exceed the quota for low-income students and the town won't approve a new elementary school unless the school board agrees to limit the numbers.

Wake County School Board Chairwoman Rosa Gill says she's open to talk. "I think they're confirming certain things that we're discovering as we reevaluate what we're doing," Gill adds, "In a very friendly manner we want to remind them that the growth is in Southeast Raleigh so take some of this money that's projected toward garner, put in Southeast Raleigh, build a school in Southeast Raleigh."

The Town Council will revisit plans for the new school in the next month, but Mayor Williams wants a good-faith effort from Wake County to reconsider the school or fill it up with more Garner residents.

"Bottom line is, we're going to re-evaluate the situation and if we think a school is not needed there, then we will look at other options," Williams said.


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