CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County School Board made a final decision on a controversial reassignment plan Tuesday night.
Under the new plan, more than 3,000 children will be forced to switch schools. The district is adding five new schools, four elementary and one middle school.
“Student assignment is the toughest issue that we deal with because we know we’re going to end up with parents and students who are not happy with the decisions that we make,” said Tom Benton, who was voted as the board’s new chairman Tuesday. “Although we can’t always do everything that they ask us to do, we are listening and trying to do that when we can.”
Wake County Public Schools officials say the reassignments will help deal with overcrowding, but many parents say they don’t want to switch and want new families moving into the area to be assigned to the new schools first.
Some parents say it’s a headache they don’t need right now.
“Currently we’re a four-minute commute from Leesville. This would be a 20 minute commute,” said Sherry Gentry-Gasper, a Wake County parent.
The district says they have taken feedback into consideration and have gone through three drafts of the reassignment plan.
“We’ve heard from over 1,000 parents online,” said Matt Dees, Wake County Public Schools spokesman.
WCPSS says the new plan will make things better for everyone, but parents may not be convinced.
“We’d like to see the new folks moving into the areas that are growing very heavily, like Morrisville, Cary; those are the students that are assigned to that school,’ said Gentry-Gasper.
Some parents had asked Wake County Schools to delay the school reassignment plan by two years.
Families affected by the plan approved Tuesday will not be eligible to be reassigned for at least three years.
“These are difficult decisions, and we all struggle with them. At the end of the day, we have to look at the entire system,” said board member Christine Kushner.