Education

School board members mum on Burns

Posted February 24, 2010 6:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2010 6:26 p.m. EST

— Wake County school board members won't comment about outgoing Superintendent Del Burns and his future with the school system.

"We're talking about, basically what comes down to a personnel issue, so basically, we can't discuss it," board member Debra Goldman said Wednesday. "The only other thing I can tell you is that, yes, we're working as a board."

Burns, who announced last week that he's resigning June 30, has come under fire for comments he made last week that upset some board members and prompted some groups to call for his immediate removal.

The school board met in a closed session Tuesday afternoon to discuss a personnel issue, which several members have said had to do with Burns. They will continue that meeting March 2.

Some board members have said they aren't sure whether they can continue to work with Burns, who publicly criticized the school board's new majority and expressed concerns about the direction of the school system under its leadership.

Burns, who has spent more than 30 years in the school system, said he does not agree with some of the changes the board has made and wants to make. Among those is the system's assignment policy, which buses students to help achieve socio-economic diversity.

Implementing the changes, Burns has said, would go against his principles and beliefs.

Although it's unclear what the board is discussing, sources tell WRAL News that they could be reviewing Burns' contract and decide to keep him until June. They could also be considering keeping him as superintendent but limit his duties or remove him from the position and decide on a replacement.

"I do hope there's a resolution at the next meeting," board member Kevin Hill said.