Parents fight proposed bell schedules

April 18, 2012 2:18:53 PM PDT
In a move to cut transportation costs, Wake County Schools have proposed altering school bell schedules across the county. Parents with children at Davis Drive Elementary and Middle Schools take issue with the plan, saying they would be significantly impacted.

The shift in schedules is all a part of a way to streamline the county's budget, and leaders are pointing at transportation as one of the ways to cut the most.

"When we look at where we can find money - transportation has not been overhauled since 1994," said superintendant Tony Tata.

Most schools in the county would only see minor changes in the times students start and end school each day, but that's not the case at Davis Drive.

Under the proposal, Davis Drive Elementary would start at 9:15 a.m., 90 minutes later than its current start time. The middle school, which shares a campus with the elementary school, would start at 7:30 a.m.

For parents with children at both schools, that's a difference of an hour and 45 minutes. The new schedule would require driving to and from the school four times each day.

 "I would have my son going to school an hour and 45 minutes before my daughter. Then coming home two hours before," concerned parent Karen Carter said.

More than 400 people have signed a petition asking the school system to reconsider the proposed shifts in school schedules.

"Feedback is so very important on this as with everything else," Tata said. "We're trying to listen to that and make the best decision we can."

The school board will hold a meeting on the issue Monday night. A final vote is expected March 27.

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