Time is running out for families who don’t like where the Wake County school system wants to send them this fall to try to change their school assignment for the 2017-18 school year.
Thousands of requests are expected to be filed during Wake’s two-week “hardship transfer period,” which ends May 15. Parents list why they need to change their child’s school assignment, but the options are limited with 89 of Wake’s 177 schools closed for transfers.
School officials say those schools are closed for accepting transfer students because they’re overcrowded.
Of the 88 schools that are still open for transfer requests, 23 are magnet schools that will only consider applications from students who meet certain criteria. In most cases, those schools are looking for applicants from affluent areas to diversify the school enrollment.
School officials warn that hardship transfers “are granted on a very limited basis.” Student assignment staff may approve transfers to schools if they have the space and resources to accept new students.
Hardship transfers are automatically rejected by the Office of Student Assignment if they’re made to one of the closed schools. But school officials also say that just because a school is listed as open for transfers doesn’t guarantee requests will be approved.
Rejected hardship transfer requests can be appealed to the school board.
In 2015, 2,526 of 3,999 hardship transfers filed between May 1 and June 30 were approved, a rate of 63 percent. But student assignment staff said last year that the numbers were expected to drop in 2016 as the district for the first time provided parents with an expanded list of schools that weren’t open for new transfer students.
School officials said the 2016 hardship transfer numbers were not immediately available.