Wake considers change for 14 year-round schools

April 4, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
The Wake County Board of Education held a public hearing Tuesday, allowing the public to offer input about the budget proposed by Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata.

The hearing came on the same day the board held its first work session on the budget.

During Tuesday's work session, the board discussed the possibility of switching 14 underenrolled year-round schools to a single track for the 2011-2012 school year.

The schools are: Alston Ridge, Ballentine, Banks Road, East Garner, Harris Creek, Highcroft, Lake Myra, Rand Road, River Bend, Timber Drive, Wakefield and West Lake elementary schools; plus East Cary and Holly Grove middle schools.

Read more: Wake Might Change Schedules for Year Round Schools

Most of Wake's year-round schools are on multi-tracks. The change could save $50,000 per school in staffing costs.

Armed with about 50 questions, Wake board members came prepared to discuss Tata's first budget since becoming superintendent. It's packed with new incentives and cuts.

Tata presented the budget last month in an hour-long presentation centered on three main priorities -- protecting teachers in classrooms, setting conditions for all schools to be in high demand and operating more efficiently.

The Superintendent says the budget maintains all student-teacher ratios and reduces class sizes in 4th and 5th grades. It also seeks to establish a foreign language program at every middle school.

The proposed budget also eliminates 26 filled central services positions as well as one clerical position at each school in the system. They are difficult but necessary cuts Tata says are the result of a tough economic climate.

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