Wake County leaders, parents gather to talk about growth impact on schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of kids and their families are getting ready for a big change.

Next week, Wake County’s School Board is set to vote on a plan that would move those kids to new schools.

It’s been a tense process that will play out over and over again in the coming years.

A group of community members and civic leaders gathered Monday to look at how the county could handle growth and its impacts in the coming years.

Great Schools in Wake hosted the event, which was the third in a series of meetings.

“And the growth keeps coming every year,” noted Christine Kushner, chair of the Wake County School Board.

Five new schools will open in Wake County next year, with additional ones scheduled to open in the following years, as the population continues to grow by an average of about 25,000 people per year.

One of the issues the group meeting Monday focused on is how to ensure students in struggling communities get access to high-quality educational opportunities.

“The biggest thing is equity,” said Leonardo Williams. “We want equity. We understand the school district cannot fix the achievement gap by itself.”

Kushner said, “When there is a high concentration of students that are low-achieving, it’s difficult on teachers. It’s difficult on administrators. So, we want to make sure that we also pay attention to that.”

Yevonne Brannon has three grandkids in the county schools and chairs Great Schools in Wake.

“The school system certainly has challenges to make sure that every child at any school receives the services they need,” said Brannon.

The school board is set to vote next year’s reassignment plan at a meeting December 1 at 5:30 p.m. The board meets at 5625 Dillard Drive in Cary.

For more information on Great Schools in Wake, click here. (Link: http://www.greatschoolsinwake.org/2016-growth-and-assignment/ )

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