Choose a blog

Wake County school board members thank voters for passing school bond issue

Wake County school board members were repeatedly giving their thanks Tuesday to voters for passing the $810 million school construction bond issue.

As noted in today’s article, board members took time during Tuesday’s meeting to say how much they appreciated the trust the community was giving them in passing the bonds. To a person, every board member gave his/her thanks.

“On behalf of the students, teachers, faculty, staff and this board, we are grateful for your support and your trust in us for that vote,” said school board Chairman Keith Sutton.

Wake County school board on teacher tenure and other issues

Here’s a recap of what’s taken place so far at today’s Wake County school board meeting.

The most heated discussion took place about how Wake would have to implement the new state law eliminating teacher tenure. Like other districts, Wake would have until June 2014 to offer 25 percent of the teachers a four-year contract that comes with $4,000 in raises over the next four years.

The contracts can only be offered to teachers who have tenure, called career status in North Carolina. If they accept, they’d voluntarily give up their career status.

Wake County school board dealing with bond aftermath and other issues today

Expect a lot of thanks to be given to the public during today's Wake County school board meeting as the school district takes various actions to follow up on last week's approval of the $810 million school construction bond issue.

During the work session, the board will get a staff update on the real estate acquisition process and market conditions. At the regular meeting, the board is scheduled to vote on buying land for an elementary school in the northwest Cary/Morrisvlle area (E-33) and an elementary school in the northwest Cary/Brier Creek area (E-38).

Also during the work session, staff will brief the board on the schematic designs for Scotts Ridge Elementary School in Apex and Abbotts Creek Elementary School in North Raleigh, both projects that depended on the bond passing last week. During the regular meeting, the board will vote on agreements that will result in Abbotts Creek being part of a site that includes a school, a community center, a park and an EMS facility.

Looking at Wake County's plans for starting the new school construction program

Now that the $810 million school construction bond issue has been approved, the Wake County school system has plans on getting the new construction program moving forward.

Joe Desormeaux, the assistant superintendent for facilities, said they’re going to use some of the $43.8 million in bonds the county sold earlier this year to get things going. That would tide the school district over until bond funding becomes available fall 2014 after the county commissioners approve a tax increase in the 2014-15 budget in June.

Right now, Desormeaux said five new schools – Scotts Ridge Elementary School in Apex, Abbotts Creek Elementary School in North Raleigh, the M8 middle school in northwest Raleigh, the H7 high school in Cary and the H8 high school in Garner – and the renovation of Green Elementary School in North Raleigh are all in design.

Looking at future sites for new Wake County schools

It's a little hectic now so I'll give a quick recap on today's Wake County school board facilities committee discussion on the new school sites.

Click here to view the handout showing the maps of which areas they're targeting for the fall bond and which ones would be in a possible 2016 bond.

In terms of the 16 new schools in this fall's bond, seven would be in Raleigh, seven in western Wake and two in Garner.

Wake County school board to decide which new schools to jumpstart

Speaking of new school needs, the Wake County school board will have to make a decision soon on which ones to jumpstart.

Wake has enough uncommitted design money to start work on either two new elementary schools or one new middle school. The schools where the design money will be allocated will open sooner than other schools that would be funded out of the next bond issue.

The board previously agreed to provide design funds to try to accelerate Abbotts Creek and Scotts Ridge elementary schools. Joe Desormeaux, assistant superintendent for facilities, said it hasn't been determined which two other new elementary schools would be targeted for additional designs funds if that option is chosen by the board.

Lack of new schools to fill could impact future Wake County student assignment plans

The lack of new schools opening past the 2013-14 school year means that the Wake County school board will have less cover to justify moving large numbers of students in the next few years.

Historically, reassignment plans have been bigger in the years when lots of new schools are being filled. That's allowed school boards, through the process of backfilling schools, to accomplish more just populating new schools.

But with so few new schools coming on line in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, the Democratic board majority will have to come up with other reasons if more than must minimal plans are adopted.

Talking about delaying the next Wake County school construction bond referendum until after 2013

Is it possible that the next Wake County school construction bond issue might not go on the ballot until 2015?

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Wake County Commissioners Chairman Paul Coble said Monday he couldn't promise that a bond issue will be on the 2013 ballot. He said it would be a mistake to put a bond before the public until the school board resolves uncertainty about student assignment and who will take over permanently for fired Superintendent Tony Tata.

“There are things that have to happen before we move forward,” Coble said during an interview after his state of the county address. “The voters are not happy with the school board.”

1353409263 Talking about delaying the next Wake County school construction bond referendum until after 2013 The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bedford families win recommendation for one-year delay in opening Abbotts Creek Elementary School

Bedford families who had complained about being reassigned to Abbotts Creek Elementary School got their wishes answered when Wake County school administrators recommended Tuesday delaying the opening of the modular campus to the 2014-15 school year.

Families in the Bedford community had lobbied for a delay in the opening of the modular school, including forming the "Fund it First" Facebook group. The parents argued that the school system should first secure funding for Abbotts Creek's permanent building before assigning students to the modular campus.

Laura Evans, senior director of growth and planning, acknowledged that concern.

1353074467 Bedford families win recommendation for one-year delay in opening Abbotts Creek Elementary School The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school system's draft 2013-14 plan would reassign 1,479 students

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Wake County school system posted the full draft 2013-14 student assignment plan online in advance of Tuesday's school board presentation.

As noted in today's article, this document shows that the plan recommends reassigning 1,479 students, most of whom would go to three "new" schools: Richland Creek Elementary, Rolesville Middle and Rolesville High.

For the second year in a row, staff is recommending delaying the opening of  Abbotts Creek Elementary. The document doesn't say why, but some families have balked at the thought of going to a modular school whose funding isn't in place for the permanent building.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Go
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Go
Homes View All
Find a Home
Go

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.
Advertisements