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Former school board members call for avoiding high poverty, racially isolated schools

The 22 former Wake County school board members who gathered together today were officially diplomatic about the changes being made by the new board majority, but it was clear they were personally unhappy with what's happening.

The former members talked about wanting "to ensure an equal opportunity for a sound basic education for every child in Wake County Public Schools." It was clear from their two-page statement that they feel "equal opportunity" is based on keeping the school district's longstanding busing for diversity efforts.

"For over 30 years, the Wake County Public School System has been a model for school districts around the nation," according to the statement read at today's press conference. "Because research consistently shows that challenges to success for all students in high poverty and racially isolated schools are greater, we have worked hard to prevent the creation of such schools."

UPDATE

Click here for an article in the Independent that lists the statement read by the former school board members..

Former school board members announce press briefing

A group of 22 former Wake County school board has announced today a press briefing on Monday to complain about the new school board majority's plans to end the diversity policy.

The contacts for the press briefing are John Gilbert and Judy Hoffman. Both are among the 15 former board members who had released a joint letter shortly before the election in October backing the eventual losing school board candidates who supported the diversity policy.

Here's their announcement of the meeting:

Former Wake school board members endorse candidates

Fifteen former Wake County school board members have signed a joint letter that supports the diversity policy and urges voters to pick school board candidates Lois Nixon, Rita Rakestraw, Karen Simon and Horace Tart.

In the letter, it argues that Wake has no "bad" schools and that the "opposite of diverse schools is unequal schools." It says that '"community schools' means that 'you' can't come into 'my' community.'"

The signers include recent former members such as Rosa Gill and Beverley Clark. But you also've got names such as Tom Oxholm, Carol Parker, Susan Parry, Wray Stephens and Judy Hoffman.

Better pay and security for Gorman

Del Burns is no longer the highest-paid superintendent in the state.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting today that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Peter Gorman got a $18,200 bonus and $7,150 raise on Tuesday. That lifts Gorman's total package to $320,350, above the $312,790 that Burns got earlier this month.

Gorman also got a perk that Burns doesn't have. At Gorman's request, he got a new clause in his contract promising to provide “reasonable security measures” to him and his family in case of “public controversy” or any other reason.

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