Wake County School Board Meeting With County Commissioners Gets Heated

To follow-up the recent post, More Drama, Not Solutions for Wake County Schools, the Wake County Board met with the Board of Commissioners and some of the debate became quite heated. From ABC11, emphasis added:

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — The Wake County School Board and the county’s Board of Commissioners met Thursday to discuss the ownership of new school construction.

School board members openly admit there could be a power struggle as the county wants to take ownership over the building of 26 new schools and repairs to older ones.

Both the school board and county commissioners are hoping voters will pass a multi-million dollar bond soon that will allow the new construction. What the two groups are at odds over is who would control the construction and buildings.

Board members say it is not a good idea to hand over the job to the county because there is a lot that goes into the building of a school.

They also say they felt betrayed and lied to by the commissioners, saying that they made the move to take over the construction behind the school board’s back.

“This resolution drives a wedge and drives a wedge even further, should I say between the board and the Wake County Commissioners,” school board member Deborah Prickett said.

Meanwhile, the commissioners feel the school board is too divided and voters won’t pass a bond referendum for new schools with them backing the oversight of construction.

Thursday’s meeting ran more than three hours with no resolution reached.

WRAL Video Highlights, including an exchange between Tony Gurley and Susan Evans:

Wake school board, commissioners meeting lights fuse in boards’ feud

Description: Three hours of dry discussion of school capacity, enrollment growth projections and building needs devolved into name-calling and finger-pointing Thursday morning between the Wake County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education.

School board member Keith Sutton turns up the rhetoric dial: Sutton: Feels like a hostile take-over

WRAL has the full meeting video, which runs over 3:48 minutes. Most of the fireworks come after the 2 hour mark. Almost four hours and no agreement reached. A lot complaining about power grabbing by the Wake School Board, who seem to ignore all the while the Commissioners ultimately hold the purse strings. As I’ve written previously, this school board seems more interested in territory fights and taking credit than getting the job done.

Susan Evans added to the tension, complaining about the ever-changing assignment plan – part of which is her own doing.  Don’t get too bent out of shape over Tony Gurley’s exchange with Susan Evans. Evans has a little bit of a history of her own in being unprofessional. In my opinion, I am glad someone gave her a jab. Commissioner Coble was spot on when he said, “If you don’t think you were brought along, then that is a failure of leadership.”

The School board should be concentrating on academics, not construction. The recent implementation of the Common Core Standards, like in other states, is proving to already be somewhat of a disaster but there has not been a single mention of it by this school board. This board has spent its time spinning its wheels and finger pointing. It is understandable the School Board wants to be heard and has a vested interest in making sure our students have good facilities, however this board can’t even decide on protecting the ones we do have without a task force being assigned to research it.  Like Coble said, it boils down to leadership and it looks like they fired the wrong guy. Color this mom unimpressed.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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