Wake votes to revise assignment plan - again

June 20, 2012 4:08:21 AM PDT
Wake County parents might feel like they are on a roller coaster ride as the school board yet again has decided to revise its student assignment policy.

A two-page item in the school board's Tuesday agenda directed the superintendent and staff to begin developing a proposal to convert the district assignment plan for 2013-14 back from a choice-driven plan to one based on residential addresses.

The board was split along party lines on the decision, but after several hours they voted to come up with a plan that would likely be a mishmash of the current and old plan.

"I think it's sad that they are committed to going back to an old base assignment, reassignment plan that was known for reassigning thousands and thousands of kids every year," Wake County school board member John Tedesco said.

The revision would mean the highly controversial choice plan that's being used for the 2012-13 year would last only one year, and would once again leave parents wondering where their children will go to school.

"Please let's get it together," Wake County resident Rhonda Curtwright said.

Curtwright and many with the same opinion asked why Wake County school leaders were thinking about changing the new assignment plan after its barely implemented.

"Making a major change now dishonors and disrespects every citizen who has emotionally and psychologically invested in this plan," she said.

"I think we're focusing too much on the building and not the people. It's the people that's important, not the building," Wake County parent Beth Graff added.

That's precisely why the plan needs tweaking now according to Wake County school board chairman Kevin Hill.

"I think it'd be irresponsible not to go back and look at what we can do to improve this plan," he said.

Several people who spoke at Tuesday's meeting said they wanted the plan to include a base school, with room for parental choice.

"Adding a base school to each address is simply common sense. No family should have to wait months to find out what public school their child will attend," Wake County parent Sally Wooten said.

Meanwhile, it is unclear if adjusting the assignment plan would violate the policy already in place. Originally, the assignment plan was designed to last for three years.

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