Education

Public seating limited at next school board meeting

Posted April 1, 2010

Wake County Public School System
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— The Wake County Board of Education announced plans Thursday to control crowding at the next public meeting, scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Those who wish to attend can claim a voucher for seating beginning at 10:30 a.m. that day at the system's Administration Building, 3600 Wake Forest Road.

There will be 153 vouchers available, based upon the capacity of the board meeting room, the announcement on the Wake County Public School System Web site says.

As people leave the room, vouchers will be recycled and additional people will be allowed inside.

Tuesday's meeting will be the second time the school board uses tickets to control the crowd size. At its last public meeting, on March 23, board chairman Ron Margiotta said he set time limits on public comments and implemented the ticket policy to adhere to building fire codes and other safety concerns.

Attorneys for local news organizations, including WRAL-TV and The News & Observer, argued that the limit would "unfairly prevent many parents and other members of the public" from attending, which violates the state's open meetings laws.

The news organizations offered to pay for the board to move the meeting to downtown Raleigh in the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Margiotta described the offer as "generous" but declined, saying the offer came too late to make a change.

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  • zande Apr 2, 2010

    Interesting. The school district where I worked, always made arrangements to hold meetings at the local community college's auditorium if the meetings were expected to be huge. Whats stopping this new board from further restricting attendance, by meeting in a smaller room next time?

    They could get a bigger room if they really wanted to. I have never seen a school board make it so hard to attend one of their meetings. They want to prevent as many ppl as they can from attending the meetings. Pure and simple.

  • squawk08 Apr 2, 2010

    Interesting. The school district where I worked, always made arrangements to hold meetings at the local community college's auditorium if the meetings were expected to be huge. Whats stopping this new board from further restricting attendance, by meeting in a smaller room next time?

  • what the........ Apr 2, 2010

    So move the meetings to the Memorail Auditorium. That should be enough room.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 2, 2010

    But ad, the reason tickets are in short supply is because of the small space. So why not expand the space to everyone which has been offered? per hardwork919

    ------------------------

    This is actually one thing we might agree on.

    I stated in my post that I thought the BOE should have accepted the news organizations offer of a larger facility.

  • hardwork919 Apr 2, 2010

    But ad, the reason tickets are in short supply is because of the small space. So why not expand the space to everyone which has been offered?

  • affirmativediversity Apr 2, 2010

    oh and seankelly15

    because seats are in such short supply I believe they should be screened for residency, first

    and if that doesn't balance supply with demand, then screen for use of service (ie parents with children in the public school system)

  • affirmativediversity Apr 2, 2010

    seankelly15,

    I believe it you'd taken the time to actually read and comprehend my post you might have noticed that I not only listed parents but RESIDENTS as well.

    When getting around to the comprehending portion you might also notice that my post voiced a concern that organizations like the NAACP could quickly grab up all the tickets simply by sending THEIR STAFF...
    If the seating is limited and demand is great...then lets set some fair ground rules to that as many people with differing opinions have access...not just who has the fastest staff!

  • Arrggghhhh Apr 2, 2010

    zande wrote:This is just another bully tactic by the new board to exclude the public from their meetings. I think a law suit is needed to force compliance with open meetings laws. I would join it for sure.
    Anyone who wishes to speak before the board can this is not be limited. The board is only limiting the number of people who can sit in the room they meet in. There is a maximum capacity set by the fire marshall, this is the same room the board has met in for years. How is this a violation of open meetings laws? Open meetings laws do not require a seat for every citizen who wants to attend.

  • seankelly15 Apr 2, 2010

    affirmativediversity - The school system is supported by tax dollars that are paid by singles and couples without children. It is narrow-minded to say that the only ones that should attend or have a say are parents. If you want that exclusivity, put your child in a private school or lobby the county to only charge the tax money spent on schools to people with children. I personally would be very much in favor of that.

  • zande Apr 2, 2010

    I agree that every taxpayer is a stakeholder in the county school systems and, as such, should be able to attend meetings whether they have children in the school system or not. Tedesco does not even have children and he sits on the Board! This new board policy will effect property values negatively and will increase costs and taxes.Every Wake county citizen should know about this policy change and their voices should be heard.

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