Wake Ed

January 21, 2014

Wake school board to discuss interlocal agreement on school construction

The agreement, if adopted by the Wake County school board, would set the circumstances under which county commissioners could take over construction, maintenance and renovation of schools.

An agreement setting when the county could take over school construction, reducing the number of out-of-school suspensions for less serious offenses and enrollment caps for 20 schools this fall are among the topics at today’s Wake County school board meeting.

After a closed-session discussion, the school board will vote on an interlocal agreement proposed by the county commissioners that would lay out the situations when the county could take over construction, maintenance and renovation of schools. Republican commissioners had cited the lack of a response to the agreement as one of the reasons for rejecting giving $3 million to design four new schools.

After having fought off legislative efforts by the county to take over school construction authority, the school board will decide whether the agreement is more acceptable.

In a related area, the school staff want to hedge their bets on whether commissioners will let the school board change the terms of an agreement for the site of Abbotts Creek Elementary School from a purchase to a lease deal. Staff wants the school board to adopt agreements with both versions so that they can keep the school’s 2015 opening on schedule regardless of the option the commissioners support.

The school board will also have first reading on revisions to the Code of Student Conduct that change how students are suspended for “less serious” offenses.

The revised policy says that students can receive an out-of-school suspension of two days if they can commit any three Level I offenses during a semester, which includes infractions such as non-compliance, disrespect and inappropriate language. Out-of-school suspensions would be allowed on the first or second offense if there are aggravating circumstances.

This is a compromise on an earlier version that would have required the same three Level I offenses for a suspension and not allowed the suspensions on the initial two offenses.

The board will also hear plans from staff to cap 20 schools for the 2014-15 school year. Nine schools would keep their cap and eight would lose their cap this fall. A total of 11 new schools would get caps.

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