Could the Wake County school board make one more change to the student assignment plan for this fall?
The only change the board made last week was to accept the staff recommendation to increase the percentage of magnet seats at Poe Elementary School. But school board member Jim Martin unsuccessfully tried to call for a vote on having staff keep magnet schools within their projected percentage of magnet seats.
Wake has divided the magnet schools into three groups.
The group one magnets like Brentwood, Hunter and Washington elementary schools are supposed to have 55 to 60 percent of seats set aside for magnet students.
The percentage of magnet seats drops to 40 to 45 percent at group two schools like Brooks, Joyner and Wiley elementary schools.
It falls to 10 to 20 percent at group three magnets like Farmington Woods and Wendell elementary schools.
Some people are worried that the new plan is putting in so many proximity students at some schools that they'll fall below the number of magnet students they should have.
After the Poe vote, Martin proposed his motion.
Board member Debra Goldman objected by raising a parliamentary inquiry. She said Martin was adding an item to the agenda and that board policy says staff has to have appropriate warning and time to bring items to the board for full review.
Ken Soo, serving as the board's attorney, said it was board chairman Kevin Hill's prerogative to determine if Martin's motion fell within the agenda item of making changes to the plan. Hill said he wasn't sure.
Board member John Tedesco said the agenda was only to vote on the change to Poe. Board member Susan Evans said the item on the agenda didn't list specific schools.
Soo then said Martin's item was distinct enough to be considered a separate item that wasn't placed on the agenda at the start of the meeting. It would have taken a two-thirds majority at that point to add items to the agenda.
Hill told Martin that he can request it to be added to the next board meeting agenda.
The next board meeting is March 20. By then, notices would have gone out to families with the first round selection results. Any changes for this fall would have to involve the round two applicants and later walk-in signups.
Earlier in the day, Martin had questioned in the board work session why staff hadn't brought up recommendations for Carnage Middle School's magnet percentage. He has frequently raised concerns that proximity students are taking up too many seats at the school.
Chief Transformation Officer Judy Peppler said changes to Carnage's percentage would be recommended for the 2013-14 school year. For now, she said they'll fill remaining openings at Carnage for this fall with magnet students.