School & District Management

N.C. Parents Sue Over Calendar

By Jeff Archer — April 03, 2007 1 min read

A dispute over plans to use year-round schooling to ease student overcrowding in Wake County, N.C., has boiled over into the courts.

With a hearing scheduled for April 18 in Wake County Superior Court, a group of parents is seeking an injunction to keep the 128,000-student district from converting 22 schools from traditional to year-round calendars by next fall.

District leaders say the system’s exploding enrollment necessitates the conversion, but the parents argue that there are other solutions, and that the calendar change will be disruptive to families. (Five new schools also are to be opened as year-round buildings.)

Dawn Graff, a co-founder of the group behind the legal challenge, Wake CARES, said families with both younger and older children could face multiple schedules because only three of the schools to be converted are middle schools, and none is a high school.

“The parents opposing the year-round calendar are saying they would rather have their kids go to school in trailers than go to year-round calendars,” Ms. Graff said. Parents also are concerned about the change’s effect on summer activities and child-care needs, she added.

District leaders say they have little choice. The system is growing by several thousand students a year. Schools that are open year round can handle more students by grouping them into tracks with staggered schedules.

Ann Majestic, the lawyer representing the district in the case, said it can’t afford to accommodate the additional students otherwise. She noted parents with children at schools slated for conversion were given the option of sending their children to schools with traditional calendars.

“Without that conversion, and without opening schools with year-round calendars, the school district will be thousands of seats short,” she said. The district plans to file a motion to dismiss the group’s claim, she said.

The lawsuit follows a showdown on the issue between the district school board and the Wake County Commission. County commissioners, who approve the school system’s budget, nixed district spending plans to pay for the conversions. In response, the district said it would dip into its financial reserves to cover the cost.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in North Carolina. See data on North Carolina’s public school system.

For background, previous stories, and Web links, see Year-Round Schooling.

A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2007 edition of Education Week

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
Speech Therapist - Long Term Sub
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion A Road Map for Education Research in a Crisis
Here are five basic principles for a responsible and timely research agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robin J. Lake
4 min read
Two opposing sides reaching out to work together
J.R. Bee for Education Week
School & District Management 1,000 Students, No Social Distancing, and a Fight to Keep the Virus Out
A principal describes the "nightmare" job of keeping more than 1,000 people safe in the fast-moving pandemic.
4 min read
Dixie Rae Garrison, principal of West Jordan Middle School, in West Jordan, Utah.
Dixie Rae Garrison, principal of West Jordan Middle School in West Jordan, Utah, would have preferred a hybrid schedule and other social distancing measures.
Courtesy of Dixie Rae Garrison
School & District Management A School Leader Who Calls Her Own Shots on Battling the Coronavirus
A charter school founder uses her autonomy to move swiftly on everything from classroom shutdowns to remote schooling.
3 min read
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of School at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, Ind.
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of school at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, makes swift decisions in responding to the threat of COVID-19 in her school community.
Courtesy of Nigena Livingston
School & District Management A COVID-19 Lull Gives Way to ‘Borderline Insanity’
When the number of cases started to rise steeply, a school community hammered out a routine. Then a basketball player tested positive.
3 min read
Andy McGill, K-12 assistant principal at West Liberty-Salem Local School District in West Liberty, Ohio.
Andy McGill, K-12 assistant principal at West Liberty-Salem Local School District in Ohio, includes coronavirus response among his administrative duties.
Courtesy of Andy McGill