To Cap or To Reassign
The school board voted to approve the 2015-2016 school enrollment plan on December 2nd. The plan moves 2,734 students primarily to fill three new schools that will open next year. Student movement also addresses overcrowding, aligns school calendars across grade spans, and reduces the number of schools students are assigned to within a single neighborhood.
During the final work sessions, school board members found themselves in long discussions about how to handle crowding at one particular school – Apex Middle. If school board members moved students, they would create room now. If school board members capped Apex Middle at some point in the future, current families would remain there.
Capping creates stability for families now, and places the burden of growth on families not yet here. In neighborhoods where schools have hard caps, schools are so full they can accept no new students. This means a family can purchase a home across the street from a school and cannot enroll students at that school. This happens now and is becoming more common in Wake County. In essence, it is de facto reassignment.
Throughout all meetings and discussions, it was clear that all school board members do not make these decisions lightly. They understand that they deal with a problem now, or they deal with the same problem later. Such is the burden of a district experiencing growth on a continual basis. The simple fact is this: we still need more seats in western Wake.