Here's a quick recap of today's press conference with Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata.
The deadline for the online simulation of the blue plan has been extended from Monday until next Friday. Tata said he's gotten 10,260 responses but wants 12,000. Outreach events will be held Sunday and Monday in Southeast Raleigh and Eastern Wake, where the response has been lower than the rest of the county.
Tata has agreed to a request from the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, to meet with him about the new student assignment plan. But Tata is challenging Barber to tell him what the NAACP has done to help Wake recruit more minority teachers and principals and what the civil rights group has done to help the district do community outreach with parents.
Tata says the new state budget won't result in layoffs of teachers or teacher assistants. But they are going to have to cut custodians and more Central Services positions as well as absorb transportation cuts.
But he warned that Wake is not laying off teachers and teacher assistants by using $27 million in federal dollars this year. He said they'll face the "funding cliff" when that money is gone next year.
While Tata didn't outright say it, he gave strong indications today that he'll recommend that the school board request a state waiver from extending the school year by five more days. He cited problems squeezing in the days, on such short notice, for the multi-track year-round schools.
Also, Tata said they are submitting to the request by county commissioners to present the budget by purpose and function. But he stressed the need to have flexibilty to deal with "draconican state budget cuts."
Click here to view the letter that Tata sent today to Barber.
Tuesday's board meeting agenda has Tata recommending that the bell schedules be changed for the 2011-12 school year to add in 25 more hours of instruction while also seeking a state waiver not to add in the five days. The state budget called for schools to add both five days and 25 hours.