WCPSS Office of Equity Affairs taxpayer price tag shoots up again

The Wake County Public Schools Office of Equity Affairs is costing taxpayers even more than was previously thought.

At this rate, it could be a million dollar department within a year.

The Office of Equity Affairs (OEA) has been responsible for ‘white privilege training’ of Wake County Public Schools’ (WCPSS) staff and is openly advocating for the use of “Social Justice Standards” created by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s education offshoot called Teaching Tolerance.

The office, with 5 staffers was previously reported to be costing taxpayers $663,509 a year. Recently it came to my attention that the OEA has a 6th staffer.

Pamela Gales was hired on January 1 into the role of “Senior Administrator, Equity Affairs.” Gales has been with WCPSS since 2014 is currently making $78,932.40 a year ($6,577.70 per month).

The addition of Gale’s salary brings the OEA’s total costs to $742,441 a year*. That figure includes the last known budget for the department of $204,846.00. (*Since the original publication of this article,new records obtained show that the OEA’s budget is now broken the $1 million mark.)

Other current staff:

  • Lauryn Mascarenaz – “Director of Equity Affairs for Coaching and Leadership.” Salary at date of hire: $85,000. (She previously worked for SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance.)
  • Teresa Bunner -“Director of Equity Affairs.” Salary at date of hire: $87,120.00.
  • Christina Spears – “Special Assistant” to Rodney Trice. Salary at date of hire: $67,670.
  • Dr. Teresa Rangel – “Family and Community Engagement in the Office of Equity Affairs.” Salary at date of hire: $88,862.40.
  • Rodney Trice – “Assistant Superintendent.” Original 2014 salary: $125,000.00. A year later in July 2015, his salary was increased by the Wake County School Board to $130,038.00.

Before being hired into the OEA, Gales was the “WCPSS HUB Program Manager.”  HUB stands for “Historically Underutilized Business.” The HUB makes sure that certain “equal access to information and opportunities” go to minority and/or woman-owned businesses.

In 2017-18, the WCPSS School Board spent  $8,560,734 on HUB’s, the bulk of which went to female-run businesses and American Indian businesses.

Editors note: By mid-2020, three more staffers were added.

What is the Office of Equity Affairs and Why Does It Exist?

What does this office do? Officially, this is the line:

“We are committed to working to eliminate racial or socioeconomic inequities within our school system by eliminating achievement gaps and disparities in student discipline.”

WCPSS created the OEA to satisfy a complaint filed by the NC NAACP and ‘racial advocacy’ groups over the alleged ‘school to prison pipeline’ and the higher rate of suspension of minority students.

The creation of the OEA is specifically mentioned in the recent agreement between the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and WCPSS.

The agreement, in conjunction with discipline policy changes already made, mimics the PROMISE program, which allowed Nikolas Cruz’s disturbing behavior to escalate, enabling him to murder 17 classmates and teachers and injure 17 more at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Sneak Peak at an upcoming article

Did you know the OEA presented to both the WCPSS school board and the NC State Board of Education? The OEA explained how they will “leverage student voices” to advance their “Equity Framework” in “schools and classrooms.”

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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1 Response to WCPSS Office of Equity Affairs taxpayer price tag shoots up again

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