Wake school bond a likely topic in District 2 campaign
Posted September 12, 2013
Garner, N.C. — Two relatively unknown candidates are vying for a spot on the Wake County Board of Education left vacant by outspoken board member John Tedesco.
Monika Johnson-Hostler and Matt Scruggs are trying to fill the District 2 seat, which represents residents in the Garner and Fuquay-Varina area.
Johnson-Hostler spoke to parents and teachers during a candidate forum at the Garner Performing Arts Center Thursday evening. Scruggs was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
According to their websites, Johnson-Hostler and Scruggs have opposing views on the $810 million bond. Public school system leaders say the money is needed to help accommodate an estimated additional 20,000 students over the next five years..
The bond – the first since 2006 when voters approved a $970 million referendum on school construction – would cover the cost of 16 new schools (two high schools, three middle schools and 11 elementary schools), six major renovations and dozens of smaller projects at existing schools. It would also help pay for the upgrade of technology, security across the school system and land for future schools.
According to his Facebook page, Scruggs opposes the bond. He said in a recent post that he believes there is too much uncertainty surrounding the high cost proposed and he wants to look at alternatives that will not raise taxes.
Scruggs, who is the son of two teachers, said he supports neighborhood schools and wants to restore the school board's reputation.
Johnson-Hostler, the wife of a teacher, says on her website that she supports the school bond because she wants to see older schools renovated. She also said she wants parents to have a stronger voice in the process and wants to see more teacher's assistants in the lower grades.
Four seats are up for grabs on the school board, on which the Democrats currently hold a majority. WRAL.com will live stream the District 7 and District 1 candidate forums next week.