The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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New state transportation hotline

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You might see some news reports today about a new hotline for reporting school bus drivers who are violating the state's seat belt and cell phone laws.

But before you add the number to your phone contact lists, keep in mind that Wake isn't participating right now. The hotline is meant, for now at least, for four school districts: Cabarrus, Winston-Salem/Forsyth and Guilford County School Systems as well as the Mooresville Graded School District.

It's against the law for bus drivers to operate their vehicle while using a cell phone or not wearing a seat belt. In the four districts in the pilot program, stickers stating the laws along with the hotline phone number are being placed inside each school bus and activity bus.

Calls to (919) 807-3580 will be referred to transportation supervisors in the appropriate school system. DPI plans to monitor the effectiveness of the program during the first weeks of school before expanding it to other school systems.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.