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Consequences of delaying assignments

Get ready for some overcrowding in parts of the county now that assignments to Forest Ridge High, Rolesville Middle and Walnut Creek Elementary have been put on hold.

As noted in today's article, the school board voted Tuesday to delay the assignments to those three schools by two years because the recession has delayed when they'll open. There will be consequences.

Not assigning students to Forest Ridge High until 2012 means that Wake Forest-Rolesville and Wakefield high schools will need to keep their off campus ninth-grade centers until at least then.

Filling Rosa Gill's seat this week

Barring any holdups, the school board should decide this week who will take Rosa Gill's vacant seat.

The plan is to meet from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday to interview all nine people who want to fill the District 4 opening caused by Gill's appointment to the state House. The board is slated to meet from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday to make a final selection.

The new board member would be sworn in on Aug. 18 and finish out Gill's term, which expires November 2011.

(The applications for all nine candidates are listed in this post.)

Lynette Aytch applies for school board vacancy

Lynette Aytch, a director in the state's Smart Start program, became the fourth person to apply for the vacant seat on the school board.

In the application submitted today, Aytch said her four policy priorities would be high quality preschool programs, specialized services for students with disabilities and special learning needs, classroom diversity and inclusion and community and families partnerships.

"The public school system has a social and educational responsibility to advance policy that promotes and sustains classroom diversity and inclusion," Aytch said in her application.

Lillian Lee files for Wake school board vacancy

Retired educator Lillian Lee has got some pretty prominent backing in her bid to fill the vacancy on the school board.

Lee, who submitted her application Monday, included reference letters from former Superintendent Bob Bridges and former principal Johnny Farmer. This could give Lee's application some weight as the board weighs who will fill Rosa Gill's District 4 seat in Southeast Raleigh.

"Mrs. Lee appears to be a clear thinker and is confident in her abilities," Bridges wrote in his reference letter. "I believe that the current state of affairs in her life will permit the commitment of time and energy required to serve on the school board."

UPDATED TO INCLUDE LEE'S APPLICATION, WITH REFERENCE LETTERS, AT END OF POST

Lois Nixon files for District 9 school board seat

Lois Nixon was the only person to file today to run for the school board.

In her press release today for the District 9 seat, Nixon touted her experience as an education and "award-winning community leader." So far, Chapel Hill educator Ray Martin is the only other candidate who has filed, although a third person backed by the Wake Schools Community Alliance hasn't filed yet.

Nixon said her priority "is to focus on improving the achievement of every student — the high achievers, as well as those who struggle with academics, and she wants to engage the community to help all children succeed."

Jerry Ballan running for the District 7 school board seat

The District 7 race is getting more crowded with Jerry Ballan the lone candidate to file today for the school board.

Ballan, a securities principal/certified financial planner, became the third candidate in District 7. It looks like Ballan is positioning himself between Deborah Prickett, a board critic. and Karen Simon, a supporter of school policies.

"I'm not pro-SES (socioeconomic status) but we have to find a way to work around it to find something better," Ballan said. "You can't throw the baby out with the bath water on the first day."

Doris Burke applies for vacancy on Wake school board

A woman who lost to Rosa Gill for a seat on the Wake County school board in 1999 now hopes to replace her.

Doris Burke, a retired educator, is the only applicant so far to fill the vacancy caused by Gill taking a seat in the General Assembly. Gill had beaten Burke to win her first term on the school board.

"I would welcome this opportunity to continue to help meet the elementary and secondary educational needs of Wake County by serving in this position," Burke wrote in her cover letter.

Crowded field for District 2 school board seat

Will a large candidate field help Horace Tart's bid to stay on the school board?

That's Tart's thinking as it looks like there could be four or more candidates vying for the District 2 seat that includes Fuquay-Varina, Garner and Willow Spring.

Tart, a builder and developer, likes his chances because three of his opponents will probably be from Garner while he's from Fuquay-Varina. Sectional loyalties have been a longtime issue in District 2.

Rakestraw on diversity and folk music

It's pretty clear from Rita Rakestraw's campaign kickoff event that she really likes the diversity policy and folk music.

Rakestraw told the crowd on Thursday that a main part of her platform for the school board is protecting the diversity policy. She later ended the event by pulling out a guitar and playing a pair of folk tunes.

"I want to make sure all our schools are socioeconomicially diverse," Rakestraw said. "That is really important. In terms of academic achievement, diversity is what we need."

Perry Woods helping Rakestraw for school board


Rita Rakestraw
is getting some help for her campaign run for the District 1 school board seat.

Rakestraw is being assisted by Democratic political strategist Perry Woods. He's also working with Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and several Democratic candidates for City Council.

Here's the press release from Woods, an occasional poster on the blog, about Rakestraw filing today:

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