Court hears year-round school argument

December 15, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
The North Carolina Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments over whether Wake County schools have to get a parent's permission before assigning a student to a year-round school.The case is an appeal by the parent group Wake CARES, which says mandatory year-round schools violate state law.

"They are being deprived of their right,"offered Wake CARES lawyer Robert Hunter Jr.

The battle is the latest chapter in the fight that began two years ago when Wake Schools announced a plan to covert 22 schools to a year-round calendar to help ease growth issues. It says year-round schools accommodate more students because the buildings are in constant use.

School board lawyers says parents don't get to sign off on when their children go to school.

"It's not a fundamental right to a school calendar," explained attorney Ann Majestic.

School officials say more than 2,000 students left year-round schools this year after not giving consent, but more than 90 percent of parents have given consent.

The Wake CARES lawsuit was first filed in March, 2007. A Wake County Superior Court judge sided with Wake CARES, but then in May, an appeals court overturned the decision.

The Supreme Court could have chosen not to hear the case, but agreed to take it. It also left in place an order blocking enforcement of the appeals court decision until it decides the issue.


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