Wake County Schools

Wake school board approves job cuts, redistricting

Posted May 17, 2011
Updated May 18, 2011

— After an afternoon of heated debate, Wake County school board members voted Tuesday to lay off nearly 100 employees, and approved a new map that will determine who can vote in the next school board election.

The board voted 6-2 in favor of cutting 174 school positions – 19 central services based secretarial positions and 155 school clerical positions – as part of next year's schools budget. Ninety-five of those positions are currently filled and the rest are vacant.

Wake County Schools Chief Business Officer David Neter, who recommended the staff reductions, said the central service cuts will save $907,000 and the school clerical positions, one from each school, would save $4.5 million.

Neter cautioned deeper state budget cuts could require eliminating some custodial and teacher's assistant jobs at a later date.

Meanwhile, the board discussed a newly proposed voter redistricting map, and related feedback.

The school system redraws the district map every 10 years based upon population and growth data from the United States Census. A new map is due by June 24 so that candidates can begin the campaign for the Oct. 11 election. Five board positions will be up for grabs this fall.

Attorney Kieran Shanahan, whose law firm created the new map at the board's request, defended the map on Tuesday saying it is accurate, and meets constitutional requirements.

“I think the process was open and fair and we did take into account all of the public comments," he said. 

The community group, Great Schools in Wake, and the Wake County League of Women Voters raised concerns about the board's lack of openness in creating maps and criticized the data used to draw the new district lines. The state NAACP echoed those concerns, asking that Tuesday's vote be delayed.

Another education-based community group called Knightdale 100 questioned why it was necessary to divide Knightdale, a town of about 12,000, into three voter districts.

Shanahan said dividing Knightdale that way made the numbers work, and it was not intended to target the town, or to do anything negative.

In the afternoon work session, board member Keith Sutton asked Shanahan if it would be possible to come up with alternative maps to help address public concerns.

“I would have like to have a more open process that would at least allow two or three options to be considered instead of one," Sutton said. 

Board members Dr. Anne McLaurin and Kevin Hill agreed.

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

"If we are happy with the product, let's go with it," Margiotta said. 

Wake County Public School System Wake school board approves job cuts, redistricting

Board member Chris Malone said he was satisfied.

"I don't know that there is anything else we can do without causing other problems," he said. 

After heated exchange among members, the board voted 5-4 down party lines not to ask the Shanahan law group to come up with a second version of the map.

“This was a great opportunity for the public input and for the board to work collectively together, and they bypassed it. I think it's a tragedy," Great Schools in Wake member Yevonne Brannon said.

Later in the evening, the board approved the final redistricting map by a 5-3 vote. McLaurin, Hill and Sutton voted against it.

 “I do not support it because I do not support the process," Sutton said. 

“It has been a long process, and we have come out with a map that is incredibly fair," board member John Tedesco said. 


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  • injameswetrust2003 May 18, 2011

    Does anyone know who voted against the budget cuts, and what their suggestions were as to why they did that?

  • Kelondris May 18, 2011

    I have to agree about the 70s schools, but take into account back them students were actual displined at home and at school. And if they acted up at school they were in trouble when they got home because our parents got a call from the school. And even though we were displined in both places, I think most of us came out rather well in society today.

    On the other hand today, kids are allowed to get away with things that would have got our rears tore up then, and they are not learning to be responsible for their actions because it isn't PC and we might hurt their self esteem. These kids have no self esteem, because very few get to prove themselve to get an esteem.

    My child is displined, respects her teachers, parents and other adults and her parent love her dearly and she knows that. How many other kids have that nowadays? It's very sad.

  • miketroll3572 May 18, 2011

    The Wake County School Board is a joke.

    So are you but who cares.

  • 4DukeTillDeath May 18, 2011

    That good ol' North Carolina "Educational" Lottery has worked wonders hasn't it??? {sarcasm alert}

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 18, 2011

    "What good does it do to cut an "unfilled" position? That don't save a penny unless you are paying a made up person. Just don't hire anyone for that job. Sounds like a bunch of double talk trying to make someone look good to me. - rroadrunner99"

    Unfilled positions are creative accounting tricks to allow them to spend money on unbudgeted items.

  • rroadrunner99 May 18, 2011

    What good does it do to cut an "unfilled" position? That don't save a penny unless you are paying a made up person. Just don't hire anyone for that job. Sounds like a bunch of double talk trying to make someone look good to me.

  • Narn May 18, 2011

    You go Wakemom! Hang in there!

  • Narn May 18, 2011

    "How will they survive on unemployment and after unemployment knowing how slow the job market is?" Narn
    theartistformerlyknownasspeedy responded:
    Well, at my kid's school, she could probably sell her convertible Mercedes coupe to get some money for rice or beans....
    A clerical position in a Wake County school averages $22,000 per year, that's about $16,000 net.....yeah, I'll just sell my Mercedes! Ha! Try a 2003 Kia!!!!

  • KittenClaws May 18, 2011

    SICK of anything that starts out "wake schoold board".

  • AWakeMom May 18, 2011

    "Instead of you being on WRAL, you need to have your focus on the students. " showsomelove (you first)

    It could be a teacher that is tracked out ya know.......or on their 30 minute, state required lunch break.