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Online grandfathering period active

Some Wake County families whose children face being reassigned to a new school this fall can now submit an online transfer request to stay at their current school.

Under board policy, students in certain grades can be grandfathered to stay at their current school. These transfer requests will be automatically approved but come at the cost of losing bus transportation for the upcoming school year.

Families are supposed to receive notification letters in the next few days letting them know if they're eligible to be grandfathered.

Reassigning the Garner High students to Southeast Raleigh High

Was it fair to move some 100 Garner High School students to Southeast Raleigh High this fall without prior notice or a public hearing?

As noted in today's article, the way the Garner High students were moved for this fall still leaves a bad taste in some people's mouths. Unlike past practice, the moves were made without a public hearing for those families. It was also done on very short notice.

The moves were first publicly proposed by school board member John Tedesco on March 23 at a student assignment committee meeting. They were approved by the full board on April 6.

Student reassignment changes to be considered Wednesday

Consider this your homework before Wednesday's 6 p.m. Wake County school board work session on student reassignment.

Click here for a handout that includes the changes approved Tuesday, the grandfathering rules approved Tuesday and the first half of a packet listing details on the nodes that were moved and those still under consideration for changes.

Click here for the second half of the handout on approved and potential node changes. Unless the student assignment committee chose not to recommend it last week it's still in play.

Student transfer requests up in Wake County

Transfer requests are up this year and the expanded grandfathering options are being cited for much of the cause.

Through Aug. 5, Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney said that more than 7,800 transfers had been requested with 68 percent being approved. He said that's compared to around 5,500 requests at the same time last year.

Dulaney told school board members on Tuesday that the greater publicity reassignment received this year and the expanded grandfathering led to the increase.

Appealing transfer rejections

Transfer appeal season is off and running.

As noted in today's article, the school board heard more than 200 appeals on Monday. It's the first of several hearings scheduled for this month.

The board is dealing with the first group of people whose transfer requests were rejected by staff.

Some bus service possible for grandfathered students

It looks like a small number of families who take advantage of grandfathering this year will be able to still receive bus service.

School board members signalled support today for a new process that would allow families who would normally be ineligible for bus service to file paperwork to request transportation. This new method would likely be approved next month in time for this year's transfer requests.

Under the process, staff would consider the requests. If rejected, parents could file a student grievance request to the school board.

UPDATE

Criteria for transportation requests now at end of blog post. 

Discussing who can ride Wake school buses

Families weighing whether to take advantage of their right to be grandfathered to avoid being reassigned this fall should have a lot of interest in today's school board discussion.

The facilities committee is slated to discuss a policy on who can use school transportation. One aspect likely to get a lot of discussion is whether Wake should continue to automatically deny bus service to any students who are grandfathered.

School officials have estimated that more than 11,000 of the 24,654 students who are in the three-year reassignment plan adopted in February are eligible for grandfathering. (School supporters have used that figure to argue that few families are being reassigned without a choice.)

Arguing over the "real" reassignment numbers

It looks like school board members and county commissioners are going to have to settle for being disappointed with today's media coverage of the joint meeting.

During Wednesday's joint meeting, school board member Horace Tart brought up an argument that's increasingly being used by the district and its supporters. He complained that the media reporting that nearly 25,000 students being reassigned over the next three years "isn't the whole story."

Tart argued that the "real number" being moved is 10,000 students.

Friendly or unfriendly reassignment

Is the new reassignment plan unfriendly to families?

As noted in today's article, yesterday's vote on the plan was far from unanimous. In what's become an annual event for him, Ron Margiotta voted against the plan as he accused his colleagues of not listening to parents.

"Reassignment should be used solely for the purpose of filling new schools," Margiotta said. "I can’t vote for a plan that’s so family unfriendly.”

Reassignment by the numbers

Here's some numbers on the latest version of the reassignment plan.

The plan would move 24,654 students over the next three years, down from 25,486 students in the proposal released to the school board in December.

The breakdown works out to 9,547 students for this upcoming school year, 10,489 students in 2010-11 and 4,618 kids in 2011-12.

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