WakeEd

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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Not signing off on cutting school by a day

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It doesn't look like state education leaders are okay with the Wake school board's request to cut the school day by a year to allow employees to serve their furlough time.

As noted in today's article by Lynn Bonner, State Education CEO Bill Harrison said "I don't think so" when asked whether a waiver would be granted to Wake. Instead, the state Board of Education adopted procedures for when employees can take their 10 hours off.

The state is saying teachers can use planning periods on instructional days so long as substitutes don't need to be hired. That could increase pressure on Wake to use the early release and early dismissal time on Wednesdays.

But the state doesn't seem to have addressed how people such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers can take off the time. That was a concern raised by Wake school board member Lori Millberg on Tuesday.

"You can’t just give our employees time off," Millberg said. "They’ve got students in their classrooms. They’ve got students on their buses. They’ve got students in their cafeterias. They can’t just leave.”

Click here to read the resolution the school board passed on Tuesday.

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Summer just got shorter

RALEIGH, N.C. — Legislation that would let North Carolina schools start the academic year two weeks earlier each August has cleared a state House committee.

The House Commerce Committee on Monday voted 14-10 to recommend Bill 593 to the full House, where a vote is likely this week.

The bill would allow public schools to open as early as Aug. 8. A 2004 law requires most schools to begin no earlier than Aug. 25 and end by June 10.

The tourism industry is fighting the change because it would cut into traditional summer vacations. Education groups think earlier start dates would allow for exams before the Christmas vacation.

The measure faces a Thursday deadline to pass the House or face a challenge to be considered in the next two years.

Not for FORCED year rounders!

they can't monkey with us any further where the "start date" is concerned.

A non-issue for 1,000's upon 1,000's.

:-)

See even MYR has a silver lining.

Thanks for the update

If it passes, looks like we may be vacationing in mid to late June instead of mid-August in the future, which means rearranging a standing joint vacation week with out-of-state people.

Let me guess, the date would be effective with the 2009-2010 school year? If so, my kids will be missing a week of school due to scheduling changes conflicting with set vacation plans for a third year (out of four) -- once due to unexpected YR acceptance, once reassignment related and now calendar law changes.

Can we just have a schedule and stick to it? Can something, anything just stay the same? Please? It was the craziest thing but K-12, I started school the same day every year (day after Labor day) and ended the same week every year (around June 10). Oh, and it was MI, so they have some snow days. I do not remember having to make up days except maybe the year they closed for two weeks when we had 5-6 ft. snow drifts, never on a holiday or Saturday. Years later they're still on that same schedule and yes, still taking exams in late January. I guess students there are capable of amazing exam-taking feats that are not doable here. Of course, we also had the same bell schedule every day of the week. Just a little, teeny tiny bit of stability pleeaase...

 

just think of all the work

just think of all the work this creates in the Wake Growth mgmt office and in WCPSS administration... job protection at it's best - keep it complicated.

I agree - I also grew up having the same schedule year after year....  NY state fair, Labor day, then school!  Ooops - just gave away that I am a Yankee and need to go back. 

:-)

and remember not to let the door hit ya on the way out :-)

Well, those >$100K salaries must be justified somehow. Meanwhile the school staff to where it all rolls downhill is being cut.

How would cutting a school day work at YR?

Can anyone explain how cutting the school calendar, if granted, work at the multi track year round schools?
There will alwys be 1 set of teachers tracked out so I don't see how the proposed solution would work at these schools.

Carymom, I would LOVE to

Carymom, I would LOVE to take my 10hours next year on a few early Wednesdays. But, We would NEVER be allowed to do that. Del Burns and his goons that brought this stupid crap into WCPSS, would hang us from the nearest flag pole if we didn't have our PLC time. At my school, it is almost to the point that this PLC time is the most important time and you BETTER be there on time and stay on topic and focus on the goal and NOTHING interupts it! It is the biggest waste of time I have ever seen! However, I do like your idea, and I think it should be something that EVERY teacher should be able to do. I doubt, and I mean....SERIOUSLY doubt it would ever be permitted.

This shows you as the

This shows you as the perfect example....how FAR REMOVED the so called "leaders" of our government are from the working folks. I thought BEV always bragged on being a teacher and how she loves teachers and respect teachers!?!?! WELL I guess she has a total brain lapse in memory of what being a teacher is. She pi$$e$ me off the most! I HATE when a former teacher moves into a leading role and makes such asinine decisions and policies that $crew other teachers. Another person comes to mind...DEL BURNS.

What about....

So what does June Atkinson have to say about all this?

Why don't they just come out and say it?

...that teachers and other state employees that require a constant presence (like correctional officers) are just not going to be able to take the "gracious offer" of 10 hours of flex time and for those employees it will just be a pay cut.

Use planning periods? That is the most insane thing I have ever heard of. Is this coming from the governor's office or from the state board of ed, which is supposed to know something about education?

First, not all teachers have planning periods. And for those who do, and have them in the middle of the day, how would that work exactly? "Yes, Mrs. Jones - you have second period planning, which is from 9:00-10:30. You may take that as your flex time. Now make sure you are here at 7:30 for 1st period, and be back at 10:30 for 3rd period, and remember your parent conferences and IEP meetings after school from 2:30-4:30. But for that whole hour and a half from 9 to 10:30, consider yourself off the clock, courtesy of the Governor!" Utterly ridiculous.

No, the only way to do this is to say classroom teachers can take their flex time on an unprotected teacher workday, either before school starts or if one is built into the calendar sometime before the end of the year.

Do these 10 hours need to be

Do these 10 hours need to be used in the next 30 days before school ends?

They can be used anytime

They can be used anytime before Dec. 31. Perdue's initital order said it could only be used between June 1 and Dec. 31. The state Board modified it to include this month so that employees could have more chances this school year to use the time.

It's a 10 hour furlough, not

It's a 10 hour furlough, not a 1 day furlough right? There are options to give the employees their 10 hours without disrupting everyone's schedule or shortchanging the children's education. Why not cancel 10 of the Wednesday PLC's (or 4 of the 2 1/2 hour early release days) and just let the teachers have that hour off. As far as the busses go, often when our bus driver is out, they just have one of the other drivers double-up and run two routes at once instead of getting a sub to run the route. A couple of days of that should take care of the 10 hours for the bus drivers. The class also eats lunch in the classroom often of Fridays. If all the classes ate lunch in the classroom on Friday and encouraged the kids to pack a lunch for those days, I'm sure the cafeteria workers would be able to get out an hour early. I'm not certain, but I think that's what they do on the early release days now anyways since school is dismissed before my daughter's class is even scheduled to begin their lunch period. And what's wrong with closing the media center a couple of afternoons to let the media specialists use their hours off? They do that anyways for events such as the book fair.

Also, aren't some of these positions part-time and/or hourly? Does the furlough apply to hourly positions as well as salaried ones? Do the people who only work 20 hours a week still get the same 10 hours off that the people who work 40 hours a week do or is it prorated?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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