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Pro-busing groups hosting forums for Wake County school board candidates and bond issue

Several groups that support busing for diversity are teaming up to host forums for Wake County school board candidate and the school bond issue.

The first school board forum will be on Sept. 9 for District 9 at Covenant Christian Church, 2911 Southwest Cary Parkway in Cary. District 2 will be on Sept. 12 at Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W. Garner Road in Garner.

District 7 is on Sept. 19 at St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville Road in Raleigh. District 1 will be on Sept. 26 at Wake Chapel Church, 3805 Tarheel Club Road in Raleigh

Federal lawsuit filed against new Wake County school board election districts

More to come later, but the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a federal lawsuit today against the General Assembly challenging the constitutionality of the new Wake County school board election districts.

The lawsuit contends that the new state-drawn lines violate the one-person, one-vote requirements by creating districts with imbalanced populations. The lawsuit contends that the lines were drawn to promote conservative policies, as the complaint notes the changes on the school board since 2009.

Familiar names among the plaintiffs include several members of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, including Ann Campbell, Beverley Clark, Greg Flynn, Amy Lee, Amy Womble and Calla Wright. The groups who are plaintiffs are the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children.

UPDATE

It’s running late so for now the only update will be the link to the article that will appear in print. Click here to view the article.

Looking at Wake County school board member John Tedesco's legacy

What will Wake County school board member John Tedesco's legacy be on the state's largest school system?

As noted in today's article, Tedesco said in his statement announcing he's not running for re-election that he feels he'll leave Wake a better school system than when he started.

Yevonne Brannon, chairwoman of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, often criticized Tedesco for his views on student assignment. But she was charitable Wednesday, saying she felt he showed a heart for children on other matters.

Great Schools in Wake's last-minute lobbying against the school construction bill

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition launched what appears, for now, to be a successful effort to help the Wake County school board retain control over school construction.

GSIW sent an action alert Wednesday night providing a sample letter for people to send to members of the House Government Committee. People were asked to urge the committee to vote against Senate Bill 236 or at least drop Wake from the counties affected by the legislation.

"Our county needs more synergy, not more division," GSIW suggests saying in the sample letter. "If this bill is passed then checks and balances that have been in place for years will be taken away."

Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner at Moral Monday protests

Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner are publicly supporting the Moral Monday protesters who have been outspoken in their criticism of the Republican-led General Assembly.

Both Evans and Kushner, Democrats, attended the June 24 Moral Monday protest that drew between 2,500 and 5,000 people. Public Schools First NC, which was formed by the Great Schools in Wake Coalition and others, has been one of the groups active in the protest.

"Proud to know all of you," Evans commented on a Facebook picture from the June 17 Moral Monday protest showing GSIW leaders Yevonne Brannon, Lynn Edmonds and Amy Lee.

In a blog post Sunday, Allison Backhouse points to a picture from the June 24 protest of Evans and Kushner standing with GSIW leader Adrienne Lumpkin. Backhouse used the photo to mock Evans and Kushner for denying they're involved with GSIW.

1372770011 Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner at Moral Monday protests The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Naming of the new Wake County schools superintendent today

Nearly nine months later, the Wake County school board should pick today the new permanent superintendent to replace Tony Tata.

A couple of circumstantial things would lead you to believe that James Merrill will get the nod today over Ann Clark and Dana Bedden. The precis for today's vote says that "on May 29th, at the conclusion of the final interviews, and after deliberation, the Board voted to begin negotiations with the selected candidate."

The wording would suggest that the board hasn't deviated from its prior closed-session 5-4 vote to go with Merrill over Ann Clark. There doesn't seem to be much dispute that former board chairman Ron Margiotta's account of the May 29 vote is accurate.

Looking at how the Wake County school system stacks up

So how good is the Wake County school system?

That's the focus of the package in today's paper, which looks at how Wake fares against some other districts it's long compared itself with. Some maintain that Wake is one of the best districts in the nation while others say that's an over the top statement.

"Wake is one of the best school systems in the nation," said Yevonne Brannon, chairwoman of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition. "We had a few hiccups a few years ago but we’re on the way back. We’ve got a strong school board and a very capable staff."

Enloe High School students asking for dismissal of charges in water-balloon incident

Should the seven Enloe High School students arrested for throwing water balloons, and possibly even nastier stuff, have the charges dropped?

As noted in today's article, the students who spoke at Thursday's news conference and their supporters say the Enloe school administration, Wake County school system and Raleigh Police overreacted to the May 16 incident.

The speakers also said that the balloons were only filled with water and that the students engaged in behavior that was childish but not criminal.

Citing the 2010 Wake County school board protests for doing the "Moral Monday" protests

Another round of "Moral Monday" protests are on tap today as the state NAACP continues its weekly protests at the General Assembly.

In a pair of articles Friday, the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, and Yvonne Brannon, head of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, cite the 2010 Wake County school board protests as being successful forerunners of the current protests.

In Friday's Associated Press article, Barber says doubters of the effectiveness of the current protests should look to what happened when they fought the student assignment efforts of the former Republican school board majority in Wake.

Great Schools in Wake leaders among speakers at today's "sound the alarm" press conference

Some familiar names will be speaking out at a press conference this morning to complain about the education bills being promoted by Republican state lawmakers.

Former Congressman Bob Etheridge and Public Schools First NC are holding a press conference at 11 a.m. in Green Hope Park in Cary "in support of strong public schools." Other speakers include Adrienne Lumpkin and Lynn Edmonds, both leaders in the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.

The group charges that lawmakers are leading "a race to the bottom" with proposed measures such as dropping class size limits, cutting back on teacher assistants and providing voucher money for families to attend private schools.

1368196020 Great Schools in Wake leaders among speakers at today's "sound the alarm" press conference The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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