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More Drama, Not Solutions for Wake County Schools

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This post has been updated to reflect factual corrections to the original piece.

In Wake County, education fights are about the kids. If you believe that, I have oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you.

Case in point: last month, the Democrat majority-controlled Wake County School board voted to oppose transfer of ownership of system schools to the Board of Commissioners. A section of the article by the News and Observer caught my eye:

On Jan. 22, the Republican majority on the Wake Board of Commissioners approved asking for state legislation to let that panel take over ownership of schools and to be able to fund construction of charter schools. The Board of Commissioners also requested passage of a bill that would require that four of the nine school board seats be elected at-large. That would mean candidates for those seats would run countywide.

The Democratic school board majority responded by authorizing costs of as much as $100,000 to hire a lobbyist to fight the changes in the General Assembly. The county is paying former Raleigh mayor Tom Fetzer up to $25,000 to lobby on its behalf.

The reaction of the school board majority, Democrats, was to hire outside lobbyists to the tune of $100,000 instead of meeting with the Board of Commissioners or appropriate members of the General Assembly to discuss it. The county responded in kind, but with local representation at a quarter of the cost. This is rapidly devolving into a tug of war with Wake County’s kids tied up in the middle. Unacceptable.

At this point, taking things away from the Wake County School Board might be the best idea as they clearly cannot handle the basics without a certain degree of drama, none of which helps our kids or our schools. Putting the three-ring circus of the fight over busing for socioeconomic justice aside, let’s take a look at the board’s recent activities:

The keen financial sense of this board is astonishing. Democrats took control of the board, promptly voted Tata out and then hired a firm from Nebraska for $45,000 to find someone to replace him. Nice forethought there, guys. (Read more at The Pirates Cove)

The Wake County School board is also being sued for the firing of Tata by the Wake County Taxpayers Association.

The board can’t make even the most basic but most crucial decision regarding the safety of our children. They recently tabled indefinitely the discussion on guards for our schools in wake of the Newtown shootings. This tabling came on the heels of suggesting that there be guards assigned, but unarmed ones. Seriously? What is the point of that? One more body should an attack occur? Instead of making the call we need to protect our student, the board has opted instead to form a Task Force to study school safety. It’s a good thing the Legislature is not waiting on the board to move on this and have filed Senate bills 27 and 59.

Then there is all of the drama. From the weird Goldman and Malone situation to the occasional appearances by NAACP’s Reverend Barber seeking to add to his arrest record and fill his quota for crying racism, the Wake County School Board has ample theatrics. Not to be forgotten were the attacks by well-funded Left leaning and Democrat tied Super PACs on Durham Board candidate, Heather Losurdo. The attempts to smear her as a radical and a ‘tea bagger’ were unfortunately effective. Indeed, the Board has even had to deal with the gruesome murder of a member, Kathy Taft, in 2010.

Have we touched on anything resembling education of our children yet? No. I didn’t even get into how the new schools being built aren’t matching demand in the areas they are being placed. It’s politics, red tape and a lot of squabbling over territory and power.

Perhaps the county taking the building the actual schools off the clearly confused and overloaded Wake County School Board is the best thing that could happen — for all of us.


Categories: Education, Government Transparency, Opinion, Politics
Tags: , , ,


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