Wake County Schools

Blog: Wake school board OKs redistricting maps, job cuts

Posted May 17, 2011

Wake County Public School System

5:15 p.m. – Board votes on redistricting, job cuts

After some discussion, board members voted 5-3 in favor of the redistricting maps drawn up by the Shanahan firm. Board members Carolyn Morrison, Deborah Prickett, Chris Malone, Debra Goldman and John Tedesco voted for the maps. Keith Sutton, Kevin Hill and Dr. Anne McLaurin voted against.

The board voted 6-2 to cut 174 positions from central services with Hill and McLaurin voting against the measure. Of the positions, 95 are currently filled; the rest are vacant positions.

4:15 p.m. - Heated Discussion Over Redistricting Maps

For the first time since a public hearing on the issue the school board discussed a newly proposed voter redistricting map, and related feedback:

Attorney Kieran Shanahan started by briefly walking the board through their process again. He defended the maps Tuesday saying they are accurate, and meet constitutional requirements.

Shanahan also specifically addressed criticism by some in the Town of Knightdale.  He noted that Raleigh, Cary, and Fuquay-Varina are also all split into several districts in the proposed maps. Shanahan says splitting Knightdale into three districts made the numbers work, and was not intended to target the town, or to do anything negative.

Board member Keith Sutton asked the lawyers if it might be possible to come up with some alternative maps to address some of the concerns and offer other options.

Shanahan said while he thinks they've come up with the best possible map, following board criteria, it would be possible to create other versions if the board asks for it.

Board members Dr. Anne McLaurin and Kevin Hill echoed Sutton's concern suggesting it might be better to consider other options, especially under criticism about a lack of openness in creating the first map.

Chairman Ron Margiotta questioned the need to go back and make drastic changes at this point after all previous work and board input.

Board member Chris Malone added, “I don't know that there is anything else we can do without causing other problems. I am satisfied.” 

3:45 p.m. - Budget Cuts Mean Staff Position Cuts:

Wake County Schools Chief Business Officer David Neter recommends the the board take action tonight to eliminate 174 school positions because of sharp budget cuts. He says the cuts would impact 19 central services based secretarial positions and 155 school clerical positions.

Neter says the central service cuts would save $907 thousand and the school clerical positions (one cut from each school) would save $4.5million.

Neter also cautioned that if the final state budget comes in with education cuts higher than the five percent they planned for, it could also involve cutting custodial and teacher's assistant jobs. At this point they are not impacted.
 

2:00 p.m. - Wake County school board convenes

According to their agenda, the Wake County school board has two big items for Tuesday.  Board members are expected to vote on voter redistricting maps and staff cuts related to budget issues.

First, the board will be asked to take action to eliminate some central services based secretarial and school clerical positions related to budget cuts.

Next up on their agenda is voter  redistricting. It will be the board's first meeting to discuss feedback from last week's public hearing on the issue.

Only a handful of people spoke out at that meeting. Many were tied to Great Schools in Wake or the Wake County League of Women voters. The two groups have criticized the board's lack of openness in drawing new maps, and offered their own version of maps.

Great Schools in Wake requested the data used by the Shanahan law group to create the school board's version of the proposed maps. After reviewing that data the group sent a letter to board members Monday asking they delay their vote saying, "The Shanahan redistricting plan moves more voters than are necessary to balance the population in each school districts. Many of the precinct splits proposed are not needed to rebalance the districts. Further, these splits will necessitate creating multiple ballots for each polling site, adding cost and confusion for voters. Most disturbing is the fact that what you distributed for public review is both confusing and contains errors."

Prior to last week's public hearing board member Anne McLaurin also expressed concern saying, "I am concerned about it, and I hope there will be discussion about it," she said. "It changes the core business of my district, which has primarily been downtown and magnet schools."

Since last week Knightdale's mayor and a community group called Knightdale 100 have also spoke out against the proposed map.

A news release sent by that group read in part, "We are outraged that the plan splits Knightdale into 3 districts despite the #5 guiding principle that the plan should respect municipal boundaries. Our small town of 12,000 has been divided into 3 districts! We don't know why - but we have a few theories."

On Tuesday the State NAACP joined the list of groups criticizing the proposed map and asking for a delay in the vote.

A news release from Rev. William Barber reads in part, "The Shanahan Maps were developed in the dark, far from the sunlight of the required open meetings. Two Board members, Chris Malone and John Tedesco, have admitted publicly their minds are made up, and they would not be swayed by public comments on the Shanahan Maps."

14 Comments

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  • boneymaroney13 May 17, 2011

    geosol - your Socialist Democrats got us into this mess, remember? They controlled State government for how many years. Don't blame the Repubs, they're trying to straignten it out.

  • superman May 17, 2011

    It should be pretty clear to people now that the board doesnt listen to anything or anyone. They make up their mind (?) and that is it.

  • Ksw1 May 17, 2011

    geosol - Are you a teacher?

  • AWakeMom May 17, 2011

    Warrior Woman - Be blessed you at least still have yours.

    I work for the school system, and I am blessed and thankful that I "still have" a job. But here's the issue, I'm also working a couple part time jobs to suppliment my income because the pay has remained the same while the price of everything has gone up. While I didn't vote for the current government we have in office (state) I'm also noticing her promises haven't been kept. I think the purpose of the message is EVERYONE is getting hit with this. And local government and even school board officials are hittin' the "little people" really hard. The good news is: eventually they're gonna have to start hitting the "higher ups" - because there won't be anyone left.

  • geosol May 17, 2011

    Thanks to all of the good, normal people of Wake County that have waken up to the results of the right wing activists that were placed on the school board with local business money. Its time to put an end to the desecration of our once fine public school system and reverse the right wing scourge that has made us comic fodder across the country and hurts our property values, too. Remember to VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!! You, and most importantly, your kids will be better off once we've purged the right wing activists and can get serious about making the Wake Co. public schools the best they can be instead of playing tea party politics by trying to dismantle public schools and force your kids to go to their private $chools.

  • dfmlythr May 17, 2011

    Clowns! I can't wait to vote them out!

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman May 17, 2011

    FreeAmerica - "Since she has been in office, my pay has not increased once, they took about $500 furlough, they took $3,000 I earned from ABC for helping students, they doubled my electric bills, doubled house gas bill, doubled water bill, and gas went from $1.80 per gallon to $4 per gallon."

    The same thing happened to the rest of us, except some of us lost our jobs, and despite having an excellent education and experience plus exemplary skills and references, we still have no jobs.

    Be blessed you at least still have yours.

    The rest of us may be looking for one for a long long time thanks to Bev and Barry who both promised to CREATE NEW JOBS when campaigning yet have done nothing to do so since getting in office.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas May 17, 2011

    FreeAmerica, Seems like we had this chat the other day, but do your fellow teachers get it now or will they once again follow their blind leaders at the NCAE when they say jump and vote for Bev again?

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas May 17, 2011

    Board passed redistricting lines just now. WRAL is running behind. Probably still brawling over at the courthouse.

  • FreeAmerica May 17, 2011

    I am a teacher for WCPSS. They told me if I voted for Bev, she would take care of us.

    Since she has been in office, my pay has not increased once, they took about $500 furlough, they took $3,000 I earned from ABC for helping students, they doubled my electric bills, doubled house gas bill, doubled water bill, and gas went from $1.80 per gallon to $4 per gallon.

    Bev sure is taking care of us. That is the problem with liberalism. There are so many regulations and costs - that even if you do make more you are actually making less after you factor in your bills. Most teachers are blinded or feel hopeless.

    SOLUTION - focus on the frontlines of actually educating students. Cut everything else by at least 50% (or eliminate). There is so much money wasted that the only way they can keep spending so HIGH, is to scare people that if they "cut" - then teachers will lose jobs, etc.

    Pathetic!!

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