Wake Ed

Wake County to lower student enrollment projections

Third graders, from left, Jack McIlhargey, Alexis Trebeau, Krish Babu and Claire Nguyen work on making their own lesson plans at Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Wake County planners say increased competition from charter schools is one reason that they’re lowering the school system’s enrollment projections.
Third graders, from left, Jack McIlhargey, Alexis Trebeau, Krish Babu and Claire Nguyen work on making their own lesson plans at Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Wake County planners say increased competition from charter schools is one reason that they’re lowering the school system’s enrollment projections. ehyman@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board will discuss Tuesday how enrollment projections are being revised downward along with potential changes to the student transfer policy.

At the board work session, staff will present new enrollment projections showing 11,000 fewer new students are expected in the district by 2020 than was forecast in 2013 when the current school building program was developed. School and county staff will cite factors such as increased competition from other school options and the slow economic recovery for lowering the enrollment projections.

Even under the revised figures, enrollment is still projected to grow by 2,000 students a years over the next few years.

Also during the work session, the board will discuss an economic impact study that was released last week showing that the Wake County school system generates billions of dollars for the local economy. The $9,000 study was partially funded by the school system.

Another work-session topic is the proposed revisions to the student transfer policy. Changes would include saying that transfer and non-base students are also subject to reassignment when changes are made to the base assignments for a school.

The policy change is being considered because of concerns raised that some schools are becoming too crowded because of the influx of transfer students.

The full board will get the transfer policy after it’s discussed earlier Tuesday at the policy committee meeting.

In addition to the transfer policy, other policy committee topics on Tuesday include reviewing the Code of Student Conduct and the policy allowing school board members to participate at meetings remotely, ie. through teleconferencing.

One addition to the Code of Student Conduct would allow the district to require students to pay financial restitution if their violation results in the evacuation of a school or school-owned building. An example would be phoning in bomb threats. A process would be set up for allowing waivers or alternative service if students or their families couldn’t afford to pay restitution.

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