Wake County’s school board is expected to vote this week on fast-tracking the planning phase for several new schools, which would be built using money from a future bond issue. One of the difficult questions they are trying to answer is whether to fast-track a new middle school in Garner or one in Cary.
Garner council members have been vocal advocates for what they see as Garner’s school facility needs. If Wake County chooses to fast-track a new middle school in Cary, there is likely to be an outcry in Garner.
But school board members can insulate themselves from such criticism if they use a single yardstick to measure both options: existing overcrowding. Regardless of how well or how poorly a school does on achievement, regardless of where the last school was built, the construction of new schools is always intended to provide adequate space for the number of students in an attendance area. Wherever that highest need is now is where school board members should start their work.