Local News

October election could shake up Wake school board

Posted August 25, 2009 6:03 p.m. EDT
Updated September 1, 2009 11:11 a.m. EDT

— Four of the nine seats on the Wake County Board of Education are up for the taking this October, and that could potentially mean change in some of the board's policies.

District 1 board member Lori Millberg, District 7 member Patti Head and District 9 member Eleanor Goettee have chosen not to run for re-election this fall. Horace Tart, who represents Wake County's District 2, is the only incumbent school board member on the ballot this fall.

"It could really change the direction of the school board," said Gail Ferrari Marold, who helped create Take Wake Schools Back.

The parents group is supporting four new candidates that are looking to change the district's diversity and student reassignment policies.

"There are way too many cases where children are bused far away from their communities and neighborhoods, and that doesn't lead to academic excellence," Marold said.

Wake often buses students to create economic diversity in schools. The school system reassigns students every year to help deal with growth.

"I think it's going to be contentious," said school board member Eleanor Goettee, who is stepping away from her post after one four-year term. "I think there are going to be a lot of issues on the table."

Goettee defends the current policies and said she doesn't believe the community is ready to see an overt change to the status quo.

"I think there may be one or two seats that are turned," she said. "I do not believe the general philosophy of this board is going to change."

Marold says the status quo needs to change.

"There are so many parents and families throughout the county who are really fed up," she said. "They know something has to change and the status quo cannot remain."