Education

Margiotta suggests dividing school district

Posted March 11, 2010
Updated March 12, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Wake County school board Chairman Ron Margiotta said within two years, students will be assigned to schools closer to their homes. Though determined, he is aware that changes to the county’s student diversity policy won’t come without a fight.

“We are going to have a new court case every week. Everything is going to be challenged in the courts,” Margiotta said Thursday at the Northern Wake Republican Club.

Last week, the school board voted in favor of a resolution to move away from the school system's longstanding diversity policy, which buses students so that no school has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

Wake County school board Chairman Ron Margiotta speaks at the Northern Wake Republican Club on March 11, 2010. Margiotta suggests dividing school district

Critics of the plan argue, in part, that it will segregate poor students and keep them from receiving the same quality of education as more advantaged students. School board members, however, have insisted that they have no plans to segregate students and that student achievement is their top priority.

On Thursday, Margiotta also mentioned the possibility of dividing the district into pieces.

“There is a big difference in what goes on in Zebulon and what goes on in the southwestern part of Cary,” he said. “They should have their own school districts or, at least, assignment zones and have a certain amount of autonomy.”

Recently the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People joined the state chapter on Tuesday in calling for Margiotta’s resignation after comments he made during a heated public hearing on March 2.

Margiotta could be heard saying, “Here come the animals out of their cages," during the meeting on the school system’s assignment policy. He said he was referring to people in the crowd being disrespectful as his friend, who is black, was speaking.

Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, says the comment by Margiotta is evidence of "racist attitudes" on the board.

Margiotta has said he will only leave if voters remove him.

257 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • elcid liked Ike Mar 12, 2010

    "I will ask again. Are the teachers hired by the Wake Co Schools, or by the individual schools? If they are hired and paid by the county system instead of individual schools, then that is a moot statement. That is like saying that we need to pay cops more to work in the high crime side of town."

    They are currently hired by the school system itself and assigned to a particular school. Under Margiotta's proposal, each district would hire its own teachers.

    As far as I can tell, it's quite literally a proposal to implement in Wake what we already have in Chapel Hill.

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 12, 2010

    "Cary citizens's kids attend schools in Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, Raleigh & the county. Likewise with all the municipalites that I mentioned. So this would be a real mess."

    Post a split up like what Margiotta is suggesting, Cary's kids would go to Cary schools, and largely only Cary schools. Likewise for the other municipalities. Your kids would go to school in the school district you live in. Zebulon Schools vs Cary Schools would be for all intents and purposes no different than saying Durham County Schools vs. Person County Schools. Two completely separate and unconnected school systems, each with their own schools and school boards.

    I do agree with you, though, that implementing it will be a nightmare.

  • injameswetrust2003 Mar 12, 2010

    Are the teachers hired by the Wake Co Schools, or by the individual schools?

    They are hired @ individual schools but their salaries are paid by the school system.

    Seriously, Rev. Barber, teachers don't want to work in high-poverty schools whether we are talking about the ones we have now (despite what the old board might have you think) or later. The students are poorly behaved and the parents don't support the teachers. This is the elephant in the room that Rev. Barber doesn't want to talk about.

  • chfdcpt Mar 12, 2010

    "SO, a big issue is how do you attract quality teachers and principals to the low income, inner city schools?"

    I will ask again. Are the teachers hired by the Wake Co Schools, or by the individual schools? If they are hired and paid by the county system instead of individual schools, then that is a moot statement. That is like saying that we need to pay cops more to work in the high crime side of town.

  • injameswetrust2003 Mar 12, 2010

    " it's obvious with their 11% of the voting public mandate .." - harrison

    You diversity proponents need to give up this lame argument, which is just about as old now as "Bush stole the election."

    There are a lot of people including wcpss former staff who are predicting doom to the school system if we start neighborhood schools. Time will tell, friends. It's going to happen. You might as well deal with it and stop complaining - if you don't like it, VOTE!!

  • harrison Mar 12, 2010

    I log on here simply to amuse myself - it's obvious with their 11% of the voting public mandate that the new school board is completely clueless as to what it takes to actually run a school system. Tedesco, Margiotta and the rest of their little "clique" are a bunch of idiots. I am so thankful that my child went from a public middle school to a private high school so that he is not subject to their politically driven agenda. You morons that voted for them deserve what you get...while I disagree that Margiotta's comment was racially motivated, I strongly agree with the NAACP that the "neighborhood schools" concept will end up badly for those who are less fortunate

  • cupofcoffee Mar 12, 2010

    A few years ago, a bill was introduced in the legislature that would have prohibited more than one school system per county (there are a few counties, other than Chapel-Hill Carrboro, that still have city and county systems). It didn't go anywhere, but I wonder if the legislature would really allow the expansion of multiple systems.

  • dlnorri Mar 12, 2010

    Actually Apex, WakeForest, and Zebulon are the same with the same needs and problems. Unless you are trying to segregate the county economically or racially. All children should be handed the same opportunity. What these folks want to do is establish segregated school districts (AKA Winchester Co NY and any county in northern New Jersey. If you want to see the end result of their efforts, Look up school districts like "city or poughkeepsie", "town of poughkeepsie", "City of beacon", "village of beacon" etc.... They want to make wake county into a divided mess like the one they left. They are all just praying their neighborhood gets the high property values and great schools. Again, where do they want to make the slum. I want to divest and get my friends and family out of there.

  • luvbailey Mar 12, 2010

    appgrad95 - "If you don't like where you live today, you can move somewhere else. We live in a free country. No one tells you where you can or cannot live."

    My mortgage company told me where I can and cannot live.

  • luvbailey Mar 12, 2010

    elcid892 I did not write that sentence very clearly. "and of course any tax increases would be absorbed by all taxpayers of the county." I was saying that Cary voters have supported bonds in the past because they were county wide bonds and all taxpayers were on the hook for any property tax increases. I will try be clearer in my posts. But back to the discussion. The problem in Wake Co in general and Cary in particular is where the kids are located vs where the schools are located. Cary citizens's kids attend schools in Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, Raleigh & the county. Likewise with all the municipalites that I mentioned. So this would be a real mess.

More...