Midtown Raleigh News

Wake County school board to consider proposed enrollment caps at Enloe, Heritage high schools

The Wake County school board is considering a plan in which families that move into neighborhoods surrounding Enloe or Heritage high schools may be assigned to schools farther from their homes.

The board is expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal to place enrollment caps at five new overcrowded schools, including Heritage in Wake Forest and Enloe near downtown Raleigh.

Students from families who move into a capped school’s attendance zone may not get a seat at the school. Instead, they are placed at a different school, often farther away from their new home.

Some real-estate agents say the caps hurt local home values and cause confusion for home buyers.

Overall, the proposal would reduce the number of enrollment caps in Wake County schools from 20 to 11. Fourteen schools would have their cap removed, six would remain on the list and five would be added.

Administrators said the opening of new schools and a new student assignment plan helped alleviate crowding at the schools that will come off the list.

Nancy Caggia, a real-estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and a former school board candidate, said the enrollment caps are a concern for people buying and selling homes, no matter their stage of life.

“It’s a concern for people who have babies, for people who have preschoolers. It’s a concern for older people who are worried about resale values. It’s a concern, period,” she said.

Caggia thinks it’s particularly unfair that any new school caps take effect the day after the vote. That means they affect people who are in the midst of a purchase. She would prefer the cut-off date apply to when a home is constructed rather than purchased, so that whole streets and neighborhoods stay together.

At Enloe, a magnet school, neighborhood students affected by the cap would be sent to Broughton High. Heritage students affected by the cap would attend Wake Forest High.

In Enloe’s neighborhood attendance area, the number of high school students has grown 6.5 percent in the past two years, according to school officials.

In Wake Forest, the student population has grown 4.3 percent during the past three years, and eight temporary classrooms are helping to accommodate students at Heritage High.

Administrators have told board members that they would not increase the number of magnet students at Enloe if an enrollment cap is placed on the neighborhood attendance area.

Staff writer T. Keung Hui contributed to this report.