Education

Burns could be removed as superintendent

Posted February 23, 2010

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— The future of the Wake County's school system's outgoing superintendent is the hands of nine school board members expected to meet Tuesday following comments he made that upset some members and prompted some groups to call for his immediate removal.

In several media interviews last week, Del Burns criticized members of the new school board majority and expressed concerns about the direction of the school system under its leadership.

Del Burns Full interview: Del Burns on resigning

The majority has made several changes since its first meeting in December and wants to move away from the system's decade-old policy of bussing students for diversity reasons in exchange for neighborhood schools.

Burns, who has spent more than 30 years in the school system, announced last week that he is resigning June 30 because he does not agree with the changes and that implementing them would go against his principles and beliefs.

Several community groups have called for the board to remove Burns immediately and re-assign him within the school system until his resignation.

The school board will meet in a closed session at 5 p.m. at Leesville High School in Raleigh, where a public meeting on year-round schools is expected later in the evening.

It would take five votes to remove Burns.

Even though the meeting is closed, supporters of Burns, calling themselves "Del's Army," are expected to be at the high school Tuesday afternoon.

Some board members are also coming to his defense.

"He deserves the respect that this board ought to give him,' board member Dr. Anne McLaurin said Tuesday. "I am very disappointed with the recommendation that he be dismissed early."

"In no way was that insubordinate in any way," board member Keith Sutton said. "He was just voicing his opinions."

Other board members, including John Tedesco, said Burns' comments – including an accusation of "partisan political gamesmanship" – offended them and that they question whether Burns should stay on the job.

"I feel they may have been a little outside the scope of his job description," Tedesco said.

Tedesco, however, said he can't say what might happen Tuesday afternoon.

"We're looking at all the pros and cons, evaluating a lot of things," he said. "We're still waiting on our attorney to give us information on contract details and specifics that aren't outlined in the public forum."

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  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 24, 2010

    "I don't know the answer but I'll bet you could go to the Wake Cares website and find it. I know it WAS posted last yr..." And I don't beleive ANYthing that group says unless they can document the source(s) of their info. Wake Cares all right. But only about themselves. They could care less about the rest of us.

  • time4real Feb 23, 2010

    I understand some things are hard for some to understand,
    they = the board
    and
    us = the parents who voted for and support them.

    better now?

  • elcid liked Ike Feb 23, 2010

    "To "bulldoze" is the way now thanks to your past board members. Blame the voters!"

    I won't blame anyone but the board that implements it, and neither will the voters.

    "As for filling Mr. Burns shoes, relax, trust me, we can and will do a lot better."

    Well, I'll just have to say prove it. I don't believe that you can do it.

    Personally, I think they're more likely to end up accepting whoever they can get, and then go through a series of superintendents that get fed up with them and leave.

    But hey, you're welcome to prove me wrong (if you can).

  • elcid liked Ike Feb 23, 2010

    "if you new school board moaner and groaners would give it up there would be no chance of failure, but with or without your support, they and us will prevail!"

    You realize that statement contradicts itself, correct?

  • time4real Feb 23, 2010

    "The current situation is headed for chaos,"
    it's been that way since mindless voters elected the apst 2 boards!

    To "bulldoze" is the way now thanks to your past board members. Blame the voters!

    As for filling Mr. Burns shoes, relax, trust me, we can and will do a lot better.

  • elcid liked Ike Feb 23, 2010

    "there will never be a bigger turnout than last fall, betcha!"

    LOL, stay tuned. If these folks start creating upheaval and undoing things folks actually like (Margiotta's crusade to get rid of magnets, for example), you're going to see some exceedingly angry parents at election time.

    You guys seem to think that just because they've decided to change things that it will all automagically be happy and fresh smelling, and everybody will be thrilled. That's severely misguided.

  • MARX Feb 23, 2010

    "there will never be a bigger turnout than last fall, betcha!"
    -Bottle of Wine? LOL

    Until this county prohibits growth, the voter turnout will rise as the population of loosely termed "immigrants" increases.

  • elcid liked Ike Feb 23, 2010

    "don't kid yourself, because you are!"

    LOL, no, I'm not. The current situation is headed for chaos, and the board has already given clear signal that they will bulldoze through with what they want to do regardless of consequence. That's going to create upheaval for years, and the task of creating order out of it is going to fall on the shoulders of whoever accepts the job. Lawsuits are a certainty, along with bitter publicly fought battles over race and funding. No matter what he does, the polarized electorate will hate him for it, and the board has already demonstrated that they're going to be dictatorial, not collaboratory. It's likely to result in a disaster, and nobody wants that on their resume.

    Trust me, you are not going to see people rushing to apply.

  • time4real Feb 23, 2010

    and to address another point,

    "Because if they fail..."

    if you new school board moaner and groaners would give it up there would be no chance of failure, but with or without your support, they and us will prevail!

  • time4real Feb 23, 2010

    "Because if they fail, it'll be the best get out the vote effort ever conceived for the opposition"

    there will never be a bigger turnout than last fall, betcha!

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