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Groups Call for Commissioners to Control Wake School Construction

Posted April 2, 2008

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— Wake County business and education advocates on Wednesday asked officials to rethink the way they operate the schools that educate the county's students.

The Wake Education Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce unveiled a proposal to fund and run the Wake County school system that would focus on student achievement.

The proposal calls for the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners to establish distinct roles and responsibilities, such as putting the commissioners in charge of buying land for schools and and then designing, building, running and maintaining them.

The boards also should establish a multi-year formula to provide for growth in enrollment and operating expenses and to fund recommendations outlined in a curriculum audit completed last year.

"We are a changing environment, and we think this is a new way in which the two boards can work together,” said Harvey Schmitt, president and chief executive of the chamber of commerce.

Commissioners and school board members have publicly disagreed on budget and land issues several times in the last few years.

"The situation in Wake County is really unprecedented, and I think doesn’t serve our citizens very well. That’s why we’re proposing a new approach to this situation,” said Ann Denlinger, executive director of Wake Education Partnership and former school superintendent in Durham.

School board Chairwoman Rose Gill said she wanted to review the proposal before deciding whether to support it, but she acknowledged the relationship between the two boards could be improved.

"There's disagreement, and there's a possibility that it can be changed," Gill said. "We will give great consideration to (the proposal)."

The proposal was expected to be formally introduced to the two boards when they meet in a few weeks. But it prompted little interest from either board Wednesday.

Commissioner Harold Webb was the only commissioner to attend the news conference held to unveil the idea, and no school board members attended.

"We've had our disagreements with the school board, and we've had our disagreements among ourselves," Webb said. "We need to look for ways to improve relationships between both boards."

School district administrators have asked for a $35 million increase in county funding for the 2008-09 school year to pay for higher teacher salaries and to fund programs for thousands of new students.

District administrators said they expect growth in the local tax base will cover about half of that amount, but they said teachers would suffer if the county doesn't provide additional money.

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  • MamaBear Apr 3, 2008

    Most of the "illegal immigrants" in school system fatchanceimwrong are born here therefore they are US citizens (as much as it hurts to hear). It is their parents who are illegal immigrants. Dealing with the lack of education from WCPSS; 50% of eduction is done at school and it is the parents responsibility to pull their weight and assist the kids with the other 50% at home (review and to be sure you child is doing well in school) and take time to help them understand the work at school.

  • moreupset Apr 2, 2008

    Wake County's focus is more on the outside appearence of a school than the education inside. Quite wasting money on the beauty of a building and spend the money educating the children inside.

  • bs101fly Apr 2, 2008

    poohperson, you got part of it correct.
    the CC's buy and build and the school board BUSES your children!!!

    Impeach the school board you say??
    They are untouchable and mostly thanks to you bond supporters who have always voted yes for their bonds, giving them the vote of confidence!

    VOTE NO to the next bond and wake them up, THEN, we can remove them!!

  • poohperson2000 Apr 2, 2008

    At last!! Perhaps there is a way to get them to work together and run this thing more efficiently. I think this is worth a go. The commissioners buy, build, and improve schools. The Board educates our kids.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 2, 2008

    I saw a high-school English teacher on that show Are you smarter than a 5th Grader. One of the questions was how many centimeters in 3 and 1/2 meters. The teacher did not know the answer. Her excuse was "Well I am not a math teacher". Oddly enough the 5th grader knew the answer. So therefore I concluded the 5th grader must be a Math teacher. I certainly hope, this young teacher is not an indicator of what is coming out of teaching schools these days.

  • TheAdmiral Apr 2, 2008

    I encourage everyone to impeach the school board and Betty Lou Ward.

    kal -

    If you were shown indifference in a store when it came to customer service, would you return?

    If your answer is no, then you and I are in agreement that the sorry customer service that has been given from the school system needs to change.

    If your answer is yes - please let me know where you shop - I will be happy to take your money and insult you.

  • bs101fly Apr 2, 2008

    SOMEONE should handle it other than the no do'ers in charge now.
    Current WCPSS "officials" and board members have proven over and over and over that ALL they can do is LIE and SPIN the data to meet THEIR agendas. And what are THEIR agendas?
    Waste YOUR tax dollars and bus your children ALL over the county all for the AGENDA of diversity!
    Vote NO to the next bond and show them you do NOT approve!!!!

  • Not_So_Dumb Apr 2, 2008

    Be wary of anything from Wake Ed Partnership. That is nothing but an astroturf group for the WCPSS. They have the exact same agenda. The only reason they want the commissioners to take over anything is because they think that it is damaging to the school board. They have no interests other than passing a hot potato.

  • kal Apr 2, 2008

    The reason kids arent learning is becuase the focus of schools is not where it should be. It is more important that certain groups (white, blacks, hispanics, free lunch, EC stduents, etc.) don't get suspended more than another group identified - or the school percentage of suspensions doesn't get to a certain amount. It use to be if you did something you were punished. Now adays we need to work with students even if they don't give a care.

    You want to know why students don;t learn because teachers are too busy sitting in meeting on how to understand these students who do not care. Many of mine have stated the only reason they show up (some once only every 10 days or so) is so they can collect a check or to meet a judge's orders. It is NOT TO LEARN.

    These are the students with the wrong attitude who take time away from others who REALLY want to learn. These are the ones the teachers discipline over and over with the lack of administrative support. Statistics-numbers-image-p

  • TheAdmiral Apr 2, 2008

    I have a problem with the story line. They are under the impression that they are being educated.

    Secondly, if you want to renew focus on education, then how about doing it rather than a "renewed focus" that will go into the ignore pile?

    My grandson is failing because none of the teachers has so much as taken an interest in his abilities or in what he hopes to accomplish to tie it all together. I can see it in his eyes when he comes home has a mound of homework and has no way of starting to figure out where to start.

    He is depressed, feels alone, and the last great savior for him are his friends in Scouts. They do stuff that is not boring, they learn and can put it all on paper as to what they do.

    Since when was learning ever made fun? Not in my 12 years of schooling in the public schools. Which brings up a point. Why does it take 12 years to teach up to a 7th grade level?

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