Education

Wake County to discuss suspending driver’s education

Jordan Driving School instructor Robert Escamilla talks with student driver Courtney Barron, a rising sophomore at Cary High School, as she take the driver’s seat for some time behind the wheel at Middle Creek High School in Cary on Monday June 22, 2015.
Jordan Driving School instructor Robert Escamilla talks with student driver Courtney Barron, a rising sophomore at Cary High School, as she take the driver’s seat for some time behind the wheel at Middle Creek High School in Cary on Monday June 22, 2015. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Wake County school officials say the driver’s education program hasn’t been suspended while state leaders work on the budget, but the issue will be discussed at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Jordan Driving School, which runs Wake’s program, had posted on its website Friday that driver’s education would be suspended as of Monday “in accordance to instruction from Wake County Schools.” But Lisa Luten, a Wake County schools spokeswoman, said Saturday that no decision has been made yet on suspending the program.

Jordan’s announcement caused Wake students to voice complaints on social media.

At least one-third of North Carolina’s school systems suspended their driver’s education programs this summer because they didn’t know whether they’d receive state money to help pay for the classes.

The House budget would continue state funding for the driver’s ed classes now taken by 120,000 high school students each year. The Senate budget would eliminate all funding and move driver’s ed to the state’s community colleges.

The General Assembly hasn’t adopted a budget yet, but the temporary spending plan in place until Aug. 31 doesn’t include funding for driver’s ed.

On Tuesday, Chief Business Officer David Neter will brief the Wake school board on the impact of not having a final state budget.

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