Did you notice the Wake County school board overhaul?

Thanks to conservative Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble for reminding us of how they had the NC Legislature interfere with the Wake County School Board.   So many bad laws were passed in 2013, I had forgotten about this one – and it’s huge for the future of public education in Wake County, our children, our teachers, and our magnet system.

The conservatives did a legislative overhaul of how and when votes are cast in North Carolina’s largest school system by creating new election districts for the Wake County school board in Senate Bill 325. They redefined two board seats to become regional positions, and completely gerrymandered the districts of the remaining seven seats to favor Republicans. They changed when school board elections are held. They cuts some terms short and makes some go longer so that all nine board seats will be on the 2016 ballot, which could result in a complete turnover of the board. And more.

NewWakeCoSchBoardDistricts.wvsnl.AuSt.156

This heavy-handed interference became law in June of 2013, and goes into effect in 2016 (barring lawsuits).  All nine board seats will be on the 2016 ballot, which may cause a complete turnover of the board.

Wake County voters got no say in this major overhaul either. The conservative majority rejected a proposal that would have allowed Wake voters to approve the changes in a November 2014 referendum.

The changes are detailed in this article, “Wake school board election bill becomes law,” 6/12/13, at http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/12/2958444/wake-school-board-redistricting.html

So much for the conservative mantra of limited government, as they use the NC Legislature to interfere in county business, and work to undermine public education.

Gailya Paliga,
President, Raleigh and NC National Organization for Women

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