Wake County Schools

Wake school board member won't seek re-election

Posted June 10, 2011 4:21 p.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2011 4:34 p.m. EDT

— Wake County Board of Education member Dr. Anne McLaurin says she will not seek re-election for the board's District 5 seat in the fall.

McLaurin said Friday that it was a difficult choice and called her nearly four years in the seat a satisfying job.

"Deciding to leave has been a really hard decision, because I really enjoyed learning about the schools and being involved in difficult choices that took thoughtful research and paying attention to decisions that affect the schools and the community."

McLaurin, who is married to Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, was elected in 2007 and is one of four Democratic school board members who supported the Wake County Public School System's longstanding student assignment policy of busing students to achieve socio-economic diversity across the district.

She voted against a controversial move last year by the board's Republican majority to eliminate that policy for one that focuses on assigning students closer to their homes.

She said Friday that she thinks that student achievement is the school board's primary focus and that, although the ongoing student assignment process has been a long process, everything will turn out well.

"I feel like it is a good time to step aside as the system is now moving in a positive direction," McLaurin said. "The new superintendent seems to be leading us in a good direction. He is focused on high-achieving schools, and he is working very hard to engage the entire community."

Five of the school board's eight seats, including all four Democratic members, are up for grabs in October's election.

District 6 board member Carolyn Morrison, who was appointed to her seat in 2009, announced earlier this month that also will not run in the fall. Democratic members Keith Sutton and Kevin Hill have both said they will run.

Board Chairman Ron Margiotta, the only Republican up for re-election, has also indicated that he plans to run again.

Christine Kushner, who has volunteered with the Wake school system for more than 11 years, most recently as a member of the Board Advisory Council, announced Monday that she plans to run for Morrison's post.

So far, no one has announced plans to run for McLaurin's post or against any other board members. The filing period for election begins July 25.