Way too far from home: Morrisville parents sound off about school proximity

MORRISVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- At the busy school bus stops in Morrisville's super subdivision of Kitt's Creek, there's no shortage of parents fed up with the lack of in-town options to send their children to after elementary school.

"We really want a middle school in this area. Everybody's willing to support it," said Robert King, a Morrisville dad of a 7- and 9-year-old.

He is one of the hundreds of Morrisville parents who say they feel neglected by the Wake County Public School System's school construction priorities.

There are two schools in town limits - Cedar Creek Elementary and Morrisville Elementary - the same number of schools in 2000 when the population was 2,000 residents.

Eighteen years later, Morrisville's population is nearing 29,000, but the number of schools hasn't increased. Booming Morrisville is the rare Wake County town with no middle schools and no high schools.

The base school in Kitt's Creek is East Cary Middle School. It's 16 miles away - a half-hour drive, according to parents, and that's when there's no traffic.

"A lot of us have moved into RTP so our commute times are shorter," said Deepa Ramakrishnan, a mother of two Morrisville elementary schoolers. "Instead our kids are having to pay the price by staying on the buses for longer."

Ramakrishnan and many of her neighbors showed up at Tuesday's Wake school board meeting, all wearing blue in solidarity, and pleading their case to the board.

"I don't deserve to drive that far for an education," Ramakrishnan's son, Aneesh, told board members.

These families want a long-term construction plan to build more schools in Morrisville. But in the meantime, they want a change to the school's assignment policy.

Two new schools are set to open in 2019, Parkside Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle - both dramatically closer to home.

These parents want those schools - and no more bussing to East Cary Middle.

"If we don't get into them we will end up going to the seventh-closest middle school, which is a real burden for our families," Ramakrishnan said.

The frustrations in Morrisville were not on the board's agenda, and board members did not offer feedback.

The district's school assignment process starts in the fall. But it comes with no guarantees of the proximity these frustrated families crave.
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