Choose a blog

Wake County school board member Chris Malone says goodbye after three "largely productive years"

Wake County school board member Chris Malone has his swan song from the board this week before moving over to the state House to take his new seat.

During Tuesday's board meeting, Malone looked back at his tenure on the board, gave some advice to his colleagues and thanked them and staff for their help. He also acknowledged the members of the audience who've often come to the meetings in the past three years to criticize his positions.

"It’s been three good and, I think, largely productive years, tumultuous years," Malone said. "If you remember when I first got on the board, during my very initial speech during swearing in, I said that we’d live in interesting times. And I think this time that I’ve spent on the board has been very interesting."

1355517952 Wake County school board member Chris Malone says goodbye after three "largely productive years" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school system not adding transfer priority for applicants from low-performing areas

It looks like there's still going to be a priority for Wake County students from high-performing nodes to get into magnet schools, but there won't be a transfer priority for applicants from low-performing schools to get into high-performing ones.

Both issues became intertwined during last week's student assignment work session as board members and staff worked through the details of the draft 2013-14 student assignment plan. The final vote will come during Tuesday's meeting.

During last week's discussion, you had discussion about how far the board should go to keep students from leaving some schools and who should get priority for magnet access.

1355148065 Wake County school system not adding transfer priority for applicants from low-performing areas The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board talks about how attractive to make year-round calendar options

Barring any last-minute changes next week, it looks like the new year-round calendar option for Lynn Road Elementary base families will be Wakefield Elementary.

But the discussion on the issue during Tuesday's Wake County school board student assignment work session raises issues about the role year-round calendar options should play in the district. Should Wake continue to not offer year-round options that are considered more attractive than the base school?

The discussion also raised the prospect that the school system may at some point convert Wakefield Elementary back to a traditional calendar.

Wake County school board talks about what to do with larger than expected fund balance

What should the Wake County school system do with $32 million that's built up over the past year in its rainy day fund?

During Tuesday's school board meeting, staff reported that the undesignated fund balance had been replenished much higher than expected, leaving $32 million available in the undesignated fund balance. Staff said that cost-cutting during the year helped raise the amount above the $20 million they expected to have.

Some school board members want to return part of the fund balance to the county. But some board members and staff say the money should be retained because they need to make up for the recurring expenses covered by using fund balance earlier this year and in case the country goes over the federal funding cliff.

Wake County school board members say they're listening to parents in student assignment changes

In case you didn't get the hint Tuesday, Wake County school board members repeatedly said they're listening to parents and trying to provide stability by making changes to the draft 2013-14 student assignment plan.

As noted in today's article, the board preliminarily agreed Tuesday to some assignment plan changes requested by families. Board members said they're listening to parents who've attended the public hearing and provided feedback in other formats.

"I’m hoping for folks who spent their day inside watching TV as opposed to being outside in the pretty weather, I think if anything we’ve shown — staff has shown and the board with their interaction today — that folks at the public hearings and emails are being listened to and their issues and concerns are being addressed," said outgoing board chairman Kevin Hill at the work session. "Some changes are being made.”

1354715467 Wake County school board members say they're listening to parents in student assignment changes The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Keith Sutton elected new Wake County school board chairman

Keith Sutton was elected the new chairman of the Wake County school board on Tuesday afternoon.

Sutton was elected 5-4 with all the Democrats voting for him and all the Republicans voting for Deborah Prickett. Sutton replaces Kevin Hill, who decided not to seek another one-year term as board chairman.

Christine Kushner was also elected today as the new board vice chair, taking the position that Sutton held the past year. Democrats voted for Kushner and the Republicans voted for Prickett.

Wake County school board members told not to talk to public during tonight's hearing

It looks like Wake County school board chairman Kevin Hill came up with a way tonight to reduce incidents between board members.

Before the start of the student assignment public hearing, school board member Debra Goldman said she wanted to address the crowd now because Hill has told board members not to talk to the crowd during the meeting. Goldman welcomed parents to the meeting in her district and let them know she can relate to them because she too has gone through reassignment in Wake.

This practice of not talking to the public is similar to how assignment hearings have traditionally gone. In Hill's absence Wednesday, board members talked to the crowd after the hearing ended, culminating with the microphone incident between board members Deborah Prickett and Susan Evans.

Keith Sutton expected to be elected Wake County school board chairman on Tuesday

The start of the Keith Sutton era as Wake County school board chairman is expected to begin Tuesday.

The board will hold an organizational meeting on Tuesday to select a chair and vice chair for the next year. Sutton, the board's vice chairman, said that Kevin Hill has told him he won't seek another term as board chairman.

While Sutton won't outright say he's running for chairman, it's pretty clear if you read between the lines.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Wake County school board committee talks about setting limits on how long board members can speak

Should the Wake County school board consider putting time limits on how long individual board members can debate issues at meetings?

The school board's policy on rules of order has a section on board debate, including saying a person who hasn't spoken yet should be allowed to talk before a board member speaks again. It also talks about, to the extent possible, alternating between proponents and opponents of a measure.

During Tuesday's policy committee meeting, board member Susan Evans said she's fine with the present debate rules. But Evans also asked if they wanted to consider putting time limits on how much individual board members can speak when they have the floor.

1354206228 Wake County school board committee talks about setting limits on how long board members can speak The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board member Jim Martin on helping families who feel "hopeless" at low-performing schools

Wake County school board member Jim Martin is proposing inserting a transfer selection priority to help families who feel their situation is "hopeless" at low-performing school.

During Tuesday's school board work session, staff was reviewing the selection priorities for the first transfer application period (page numbers 7-8 on this document). This would be the new period from Feb. 18 to March 1 when families could request a transfer to any school in the district that has space. Tansportation wouldn't be guaranteed.

Martin said he wanted to bring up the issue of helping students from low-performing nodes get into high-performing schools. He said the issue was raised by several of his constituents.

1352990364 Wake County school board member Jim Martin on helping families who feel "hopeless" at low-performing schools The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Cars View All
Find a Car
Go
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Go
Homes View All
Find a Home
Go

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.
Advertisements