The end to mandatory year-round schools is moving forward, albeit slower than originally expected by the new Wake County school board majority.
The new board introduced a resolution Tuesday that initially called for the end of all mandatory year-round assignments effective for the 2010-11 school year. What was ultimately adopted is a resolution calling for data collection on year-round schools and a survey of parents that could lead to calendar conversions.
Here's the original resolution. Follow along for the changes.
New board member Deborah Prickett introduced the resolution.
In response, board member Keith Sutton proposed removing points 1 and 2 from the resolution. Those points touch on ending mandatory year-round assignment and not opening new schools on mandatory year-round.
Sutton said it was counterproductive to do the survey when the resolution already ruled out mandatory year-round.
New board member Chris Malone seconded the motion and the resolution was amended to remove points 1 and 2.
Supt. Del Burns then raised the first of several concerns about 3c, which calls for staff identifying current year-round schools to be converted back to a traditional calendar. He said he wanted more guidance on the criteria to be used for this identification.
During the ensuing discussion, board member Kevin Hill brought up the argument that less year-round will be expensive.
“If we’re talking about doing away with year-round schools, we’ll have to raise taxes," Hill said.
Board member Anne McLaurin said it's premature to ensure parental choice unless they know they have enough traditional-calendar capacity in the right place.
Prickett held her ground on the need for parental choice.
"We have to do something and move forward," Prickett said. "Parents have a right to decide if they want a year-round school.”
Board attorney Ann Majestic helped fashion the wording for a compromise. She proposed reversing things so that 3d, which talks about identifying geographic areas not served by year-round schools, now moves ahead of 3c.
Majestic also suggested adding wording saying that once the data and survey results are presented, the board will provide further direction to staff on how to identify schools to convert back.
The amended resolution was unanimously passed.
Staff now has 90 days to survey parents and bring back data on year-rounds, including track distribution, changes in enrollment since 2006 and the breakdown of base vs. application year-round students.
it's uncertain whether schools can be converted back for the 2010-11 school year.