Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta said Thursday that he is 95 percent sure he will not run for re-election when his term ends in November 2011.
"I am a retired guy. I would like to look for happiness out there," Margiotta said.
Margiotta has made deciding votes in favor of the district’s controversial proposal to move away from a decade-old policy of busing students for the purposes of diversity toward a policy of community-based student assignment.
He held a minority position on the board for years, before a pivotal election last fall changed the balance of power. The new majority elected him chairman as one of their first acts in office.
“The busing policy intended to help the economically disadvantaged, but it has not,” Margiotta said during a speech to the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.
Before he finishes his term, Margiotta believes he can oversee the change and move toward higher graduation rates for low-income students.
Margiotta thinks his district, which includes Apex, Cary and Holly Springs, would elect someone with his same ideas.
In fact, he thinks the current majority on the board, will gain two more seats from minority members in the next election.
"I would say Kevin Hill's seat and (Anne) McLaurin's seat," Margiotta said.
McLaurin told WRAL News on Thursday that she does not agree with Margiotta's prediction.
"I am surprised to hear him say that," she said.
McLaurin's district includes south central Raleigh.
"I don't think my district is supportive of Mr. Margiotta's policies or the way he does business," she said.
McLaurin thinks that people who have rallied against changes in student assignment will rally again at the polls.
"I think people are interested in getting out for this election and the next one," she said.