Magnetizing Millbrook High School isn't turning out to be all it's cracked up to be.
As noted in today's article, a large contingent of Millbrook High parents, teachers and students packed Monday's public hearing to complain about the reassignment plan.
While the Millbrook speakers said they still want the new International Baccalaureate magnet program, they're not thrilled with the proposed reassignment changes.
Administrators want to move nearly 1,300 students out of the school. It would lead to a net reduction in Millbrook's enrollment by 795 students.
Millbrook would be left with a much smaller base population of 1,613 students to make room for magnet applicants.
But the speakers complained that leaving Millbrook's base with a projected 40.4 percent low-income percentage will discourage applicants. They also question how many applicants would apply in the beginning.
Students held banners saying the IB program should be given a "healthy start."
Failure to draw a large number of magnet students would result in the loss of many teaching positions at Millbrook.
Jody Gross, Millbrook's past PTSA president, asked the school board to leave Millbrook with a base of at least 1,950 students and a low-income percentage of 35 percent.
Gross said that the low-income percentage of the base needs to be lower in the beginning because Millbrook already has a "tainted perception" in the minds of some families.
Gross said that Wake could always move more base students out in 2012 if the magnet interest is that high.
Gross insisted that Millbrook isn't trying to be like Broughton High in wanting to have the benefits of IB magnet funding with a low percentage of magnet students.