Local News

Raleigh backs single-member school board districts

Posted May 7, 2008

Wake County Public School System

— The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday gave a vote of confidence to the Wake County school board, saying the board members' seats shouldn't be changed.

Each of the nine school board members is elected to represent a district, but mayors in Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs and Rolesville and the majority of the county's Board of Commissioners have said the system should be scrapped so some at-large districts could be added to the school board.

Backers of at-large seats said they're upset with controversial topics like reassignments and the district's attempt last year to force students to attend year-round schools. At-large members would better represent the feelings of most of the county, they said.

The Raleigh City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for retaining the district system. Mayors in Wake Forest, Zebulon, Morrisville and Wendell had previously expressed support for the current system.

"I'm of the opinion that we need to make a bold statement," Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem James West said.

The council had to revise the wording of the resolution to obtain a unanimous vote, however.

Councilman Philip Isley had balked at a draft of the resolution because it included a phrase about inadequate funding of the school system.

"What I don't like us doing is getting into the realm of someone else's political puzzle. I certainly support the Wake County school system," Isley said.

State lawmakers would have to approve any change to the way school board members are elected.


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  • ncwebguy May 8, 2008

    I am not rewriting history. Its all there. Look at where schools were built over the last 30 to 40 years, the beginning of "white flight". Call it racism/classism/whatever, but you can not deny the ratio of school aged children population to schools (open and planned) in SE Raleigh is the worst in the Wake County.

    A lot of kids have always been bused to school. But saying "busing is busing" is dishonest -- a kid who rides a bus to school because mommy and daddy decided to live in a sparse part of the county with no existing school is *not* the same as a kid who lives in an area with enough kids to support a school yet one was never built for "various reasons".

    The very people for neighborhood schools in North Raleigh (Wakefield), Apex, Garner, etc. were the ones agaisnt them after the city/county consolidation, since they would have ended up in SE Raleigh. Heck, they're still against schools in "those" neighborhoods today (Wake Forest's DuBois center).

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount May 7, 2008

    "I have a great deal of confidence in the Raleigh City Council vote. After all they have done such a good job on water conservation, garbage disposals, growth planning etc"

    Well, that pretty much sums it up for me too!

    Excellent point. What, me worry?

  • Not_So_Dumb May 7, 2008


    You are wrong. The takeover of the other schools by the Raleigh school district happened in the mid 1970s. Anyone who calls it a merger has an agenda because the official vote that created the system was against the merger. The state assembly combined the system, essentially allowing the, at the time, much larger Raleigh system to monopolize the rest of the county. They are attempting to hold on to that advantage and maintain the takeover.

  • AX May 7, 2008

    Apex, Cary, Hollysprings, Fuquay and Morrisville should stand up and say enough is enough and seek to get their schools out of the hands of the Raleigh City Council

  • RonnieR May 7, 2008

    N-S_D, I doubt seriously that Raleigh was busing kids around before there was a Wake COunty School system. Both systems predate buses, now Raleigh may have moved them around in a horse drawn wagon.

  • WHEEL May 7, 2008

    I have a great deal of confidence in the Raleigh City Council vote. After all they have done such a good job on water conservation, garbage disposals, growth planning etc, how could they be WRONG on anything.

  • TheAdmiral May 7, 2008

    I think it is funny. The city council is for more of the same. More of the same rascism, more of the same water woes, more of the same uneducated children leaving school....

    ..... More of the same. Politicians are always for more of the same. It keeps money flowing into their pockets.

  • UNC Doc May 7, 2008

    ncwebguy is trying to slyly insert the race card, which is the typical liberal response when presented with facts. It is a way of deligitimizing any argument that an opponent may make -- in other words, try and get you to shut up by insinuating that the REAL reasons you oppose this hideous BOE is because you are a racist! Demonize and dehumanize the opposition, right, Josef?

  • Not_So_Dumb May 7, 2008


    What history are you trying to rewrite? Raleigh was busing kids around before there was a county school system so before the county commissioners had anything to do with it.

  • ncwebguy May 7, 2008

    Kids are bused out of SE Raleigh because Tom Fetzer, Paul Coble, the Wake Board of Commissioners and Wake School board made the decision to *not* build "neighborhood schools" in that part of the county, to make things better for their precious snowflakes in North Raleigh, Cary, and Apex. Mayor Meeker had nothing to do with it. It is sad that having the overwhelming majority of schools is not enough for desperate housewives with more money than smarts. Now they want *all* the power, usurping the last 1/3 of school board seats from ITB.

    Garner's rejection of the school site plan while saying "we want schools, but not *those* students to justify a new building is a horrible allocation of resources.