Wake County Schools

Wake commissioners, school board reach construction accord

Posted February 27, 2014

School construction generic

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education have hammered out an agreement to end a long-running tug-of-war over who controls school construction.

Under a proposal announced Thursday, the two boards will create a Joint School Facilities Core Team to lead research, evaluations of site acquisition, design and construction of Wake County public schools.

The school board is expected to approve the deal next Tuesday and the Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on it March 17.

“Our community expects us to build and renovate school buildings to accommodate our growing population and keep schools up-to-date," school board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said in a statement.

"We are ready to move forward and do what’s best for the community," commissioners Chairman Phil Matthews said in a statement.

Control of school construction and maintenance – essentially ownership of all school buildings and land – has been a hot-button issue for the two boards for several years.

Commissioners argued that they should have the final say because they control local funding for the Wake County Public School System. They also criticized some land deals approved by the school board as overpriced.

The school board, however, said the design of schools is an integral part of the educational process and needed to remain under the board's control. They also disputed the allegation that they paid too much to build schools.

The dispute came to a head last year as the two board tried to work together to pass an $810 million school bond. The state Senate twice passed legislation that would shift control of the schools to the Board of Commissioners, but the House defeated the measure both times.


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  • Terry Watts Mar 4, 2014
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    WEIN wants to eliminate the Public School System entirely and go to a Private Only system.

  • miseem Feb 27, 2014

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    Got specifics on the less costly, more efficient and effective delivery systems that will provide equal opportunity for education for every child (whether all take advantage of it or not)? Got any ideas on less expensive methods of paying for construction, short of cash up front, that is less expensive than bonds?

  • rand321 Feb 27, 2014

    There are a lot of task masters the schools have to contend with in providing education. The Fed's, the state, parents, students, local governments, taxpayers, etc.

    Providing all the mandated minimum standards is not easy and it is costly. The Feds have the ADA, NO Child left behind, testing, etc. The state has not added cursive writing as a requirement...really?

    if you want more efficient ways to educate the students, first and foremost get the politicians and Federal/State bureaucrats out of the process.

  • John Paul Bertke Feb 27, 2014
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    An overwhelming majority of Wake County voters supported the bond for this building program, by a 15% margin just 4 months ago. Voters were fully aware that we're paying for it.

    It was a necessary and responsible investment in our future...far more productive than, say, TAXING THE PUBLIC for PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS, the Republican solution.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 27, 2014

    It really is a shame to see this wasteful enterprise continue. We have so many much less costly, more efficient and effective ways to deliver education. Yet the people in control insist on remaining in the horse and buggy days with the delivery methods. I really dread even thinking that one more unnecessary building will be put up and paid for in the most expensive way possible.