Wake considering more assignment changes

WAKE COUNTY On Tuesday, an assignment committee threw some changes out for the school board to consider.

Right now, proximity is the school board's majority members' first priority when it comes to assigning students to schools.

"We want to send them to schools closer to home," Wake County school board member Chris Malone said.

"We want to get the kids closer to home," Wake County school board member and committee chairman John Tedesco added.

However, some of the assignment committee's citizen members say diversity should still be a factor, as should student success.

Committee member Anne Sherron asked school board members Tuesday why students assigned to a certain school under the old diversity policy, and who are doing well, are being moved to a different school closer to home.

"Are you saying the other school is crappy and the student won't do well there," Tedesco asked.

"Don't put words into my mouth," Sherron replied. "Why don't you ask me what I'm saying instead?"

Sherron is also a member of Great Schools in Wake, which is a coalition critical of the school board majority's decisions. She has said she wants to see numbers and data showing kids perform better in schools closer to home.

In the meantime, one idea Sherron and Tedesco seem to agree on is the possibility of opening an elementary school as a K-8 school instead or getting creative with existing schools during a budget crisis.

"I think that's a great idea," Tedesco said. " If we have some places underutilized right where they're planning to build a $30 million middle school, I think we should just use the facilities we have a little wiser."

The ideas talked about Tuesday are all just ideas right now. The entire school board will be discussing any likely changes when it meets on Dec. 14.

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