Wake County Schools

Wake school board opposes state lawmakers' push for redistricting

Posted April 23, 2013

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Board of Education came out Tuesday against a bill before state lawmakers that would redraw district lines and change the way school board members are elected.

In a 6-2 vote, the board adopted a resolution in support of the current district maps and elections process.

"What we have is a General Assembly coming into a local case and putting down their will," school board member Tom Benton said.

The bill, which passed the Senate Monday night and is now headed to the House, would change school board elections from odd-numbered years when city councils are elected to the primaries of even-numbered years, when partisan candidates for the General Assembly and Congress are chosen.

Susan Evans Wake school board opposes redistricting, election changes

It would also create seven individual districts and two regional super-districts. The two regional districts would be split between a donut-shaped zone that takes in the county's rural areas and an urban district taking in most of Raleigh and Cary in the middle.

Board member Susan Evans said that, while the current maps are not perfect, they are balanced and proportional and keep communities together.

"The newly proposed maps are not compact in any way," she said. "They are crazy shapes."

Redistricting supporters, however, say the proposed maps and elections process would increase voter participation and provide better representation through the at-large regional seats.

During a work session earlier Tuesday, the school board discussed other big issues, including tweaks to the superintendent's proposed budget and priorities for a $900 million school construction bond.

30 Comments

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  • Run4orest Apr 30, 4:43 p.m.

    Gerrymandering everything in Raleigh apparently wasn't enough for our Republican legislature. They are now systematically micromanaging county and city elections with the same end in mind.

    They have made it very clear that they actually believe in more government control- just in different areas of our lives. Our votes are obviously something they fear and so they spend a considerable amount of time trying to preserve their power against the will of the people!

  • 4Strikes Apr 29, 12:42 p.m.

    "This will only increase the partisan politics of eduction in Wake County. What will matter now is the Republican vs Democratic machines. Independents are now (mostly) out of the equation."

    So what are you saying, we should leave the corrupt system in place that the Democrats created to try to stay in power? That way it won't "increase the partisan politics"? Right! Tax man has it right, all members of the board should be elected at large by all voters. How is that not more fare? Nobody with a shred of integrity can say that it is not...and no, it won't "increase partisan politics" but it will most likely increase liberal whining because there will no longer be any liberals on the board.

  • Tax Man Apr 26, 10:33 a.m.

    All board members should be elected at large by all the voters! We pay the taxes we should get to decide who spends the dollars. And we don't need the board messing with their insane "diversity" policies. All of us are equal and there is no reason to grant greater rights to anyone. And parents should have the right to send their kids to their school of choice not be forced to send them to a school chosen by the board. Public schools need to be competitive! Those that cannot compete need to be shut down.

  • westernwake1 Apr 26, 9:36 a.m.

    Why isn't WRAL covering the Wake County School Board's plan to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to start an "Office of Diversity and Equity". This is at a time where Wake County will be laying off hundreds of TAs.

    The N&O has covered this absurd move by the Democratic school board. -
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/04/23/2845012/wake-school-board-wants-to-create.html

    As outlined in the article, the Democratic-majority school board is in a full scale rush to re-establish diversity as the primary component of student assignment.

    Do the Democratic school board members fail to understand that the constantly changing assignment to promote diversity over education is why the parents voted them out of office.

  • btneast Apr 25, 9:59 a.m.

    This will only increase the partisan politics of eduction in Wake County. What will matter now is the Republican vs Democratic machines. Independents are now (mostly) out of the equation.

    Education has ALWAYS been partisan....not having an official party designation by a board member's name doesn't make it non partisan. All people hold to a political ideology of some sort....some left, some right....some more left or right than others. Their leanings always have and always will affect their stand on issues before the board. It's naïve to think that there is an apolitical board of anything anywhere.

  • btneast Apr 25, 9:48 a.m.

    Why in the world would you support taking YOUR tax payment and handing it to me so I can send MY kid to Private School???

    No different than taking my tax payment and sending your kid to public school, other than you would then have a choice at least.....which you do not have now.....

  • Zealotry Apr 24, 4:43 p.m.

    "Sounds like some conservatives want it both ways when it suits their side." goldensprey

    Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? No armed personnel in schools unless your the president's kids? The President took away the vouchers in Washington DC school system but proceeded to send his girls to a private school, I could go on and on and on..

  • Zealotry Apr 24, 4:33 p.m.

    "Why in the world would you support taking YOUR tax payment and handing it to me so I can send MY kid to Private School???" T watts1000

    Because we care about the education of future generations. The current government schools are a mess. If we went to a voucher system and schools had to compete on performance, cost, times etc. then I don't see how you could oppose it, unless of course you are a teacher in the current system with tenure!!!

  • jeffdewitt Apr 24, 3:49 p.m.

    @t....1000

    From my point of view I'd be fine with that. I want the kids in our community to get the best education possible, and more often than not that's in a private school. Personally I trust the administration of the average private school FAR more than I do the Wake Board of Education!

  • jeffdewitt Apr 24, 3:46 p.m.

    @downtowner

    The Democrats set up the system knowing full well that the people most likely to get out and vote in off year elections are those directly involved in the educational establishment. If the election is only for the school board, especially if you don't have kids and don't know anything about the candidates you are a lot less likely to vote than if you are a school employee or involved with one of the candidates.

    Even more to the point those sorts of elections enable small but noisy groups to have a lot more influence than they should.

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