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School board on board committees and governance since 2009

It doesn't look like there's much doubt that the new Democratic majority on the Wake County school board will restore the standing committees.

But, as noted in today's article, the discussion during Saturday's retreat came with some recriminations. Members of the new majority complained about how they felt things had been governed over the past two years by the ousted Republican majority.

Interestingly enough, things had been relatively smooth heading into that part of the discussion after the discussion on amending the core beliefs.

Jim Martin affirming his oath of office as a school board member

New Wake County school board member Jim Martin did things a little differently on Tuesday when he took the oath of office.

Martin took the oath on a copy of the N.C. Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. He also affirmed he would carry out his duties, not swear he would.

Martin later explained that he is a Christian. But Martin said he feels so strongly about the separation between church and state that he decided not to swear on a Bible.

Keith Sutton elected as school board vice chairman

More to come later, but the new Democratic majority on the Wake County school board exerted its muscle today by electing Keith Sutton as vice chairman.

The vote ends John Tedesco's tenure as vice chair six months earlier than it was supposed to finish. But the 2009 decision by Republicans to replace Kevin Hill early as board chair set the precedent for today.

During the vice chair's vote, Sutton got five votes. Debra Goldman got three votes. Deborah Prickett got one vote. I'll check the ballots later.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Kevin Hill elected as chairman and organizational meeting called

Kevin Hill was elected chairman of the Wake County school board today after Democrats retook control, but Republican John Tedesco looks to be on the way out as vice chairman.

Following the vote on Hill, new Democratic board member Jim Martin called for an organizational meeting to be added to the agenda. This would allow the vote on vice chair.

The vote on the organizational meeting was 5-4 in support along the new party lines. The meeting will come after the public comment.

UPDATE

The nomination process for board chair opened with Republican board member Chris Malone nominating Democratic board member Keith Sutton. But Sutton declined the nomination and instead nominated fellow Democrat Kevin Hill.

During the vote, Hill received five votes. Sutton got three votes. Republican Deborah Prickett got one vote. I'll check the ballots later.

Hill's term runs through June. But Martin said he's like the organizational meeting to be held in December and not June to coincide with the elections, which he said is what happens in most other districts.

Also during the discussion, school board attorney Ann Majestic said Hill can take advantage of the new state law passed this year saying the chair votes on all issues and not just ties. Majestic said the law went into effect Dec. 1.

Picking new school board leadership today

Who will be chosen the new chair and potentially new vice chair of the Wake County school board today?

It's expected that Kevin Hill or Keith Sutton will be chosen as chairman because they're the only members of the new Democratic majority with prior board experience. The new chair would serve until the annual meeting in June.

One theory being floated is that Hill will be chosen as chairman to finish out the term he never got to complete in 2009-10.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Helping to pay the tab for Tuesday's school board reception

Should any private individuals or the members of the Wake County school board being sworn in on Tuesday pick up part of the tab for the reception?

As per tradition, a reception will be held after the new members are sworn into office on Tuesday. The reception will be catered by the school system's Office of Child Nutrition Services.

The precedent for individuals picking up part of the costs was set in 2009 when three leaders of the Wake Schools Community Alliance paid $300 of the $693.83 bill. Plus, the campaign manager for board member Debra Goldman brought in a cake.

Current school board breaking bread one last time

The Wake County school board is having a last supper before what could turn into a contentious final meeting.

The board finished up the work session early so they could have one last meal together. They'll also have a group photo taken.

The congenial attitude may be tested on votes such as the math policy and capping Walnut Creek Elementary School. Board members said the math policy won't be pulled from the agenda.

School board to vote on changing how action items are added to agenda

The Wake County school board is scheduled to vote today on a pair of policies that could impact how the new Democratic majority adds action items to the agenda.

The board vote on Policy 1322 would revise how the regular agenda could be amended. It says that action items such as resolutions may only be added to the board agenda if they're consistent with the requirements of Policy 1321.

The board is also supposed to vote on revising Policy 1321 so that when board members request action on an item they'd have to "provide the Board with adequate data and back-up information." The current policy only puts that onus on providing data on the superintendent.

UPDATE

The items were added to the agenda in response to the AdvancED report.

During the work session, the board agreed to modify the wording on Policy 1322 to say that it would take a two-thirds vote of those present to have an action item added at the start of the meeting.

The revision on Policy 1321 has been removed from the agenda because it's felt that the two-thirds requirement added to Policy 1322 will address the issue.

The revision to Policy 1322 was unanimously approved on first reading. The new majority will handle the second and final reading.

Cash Michaels on the impact of Kevin Hill's election victory

Cash Michaels is speculating on Debra Goldman becoming the new Wake County school board vice chairwoman and lists three actions that he says the new Democratic majority must do.

In this week's issue of The Carolinian, Michaels writes that the new majority must revise the student assignment plan "to ensure that no more high poverty schools are created, and that low performing students have access to high performing schools." He also says the new majority will "also have to prioritize the removal of several acts by the current GOP board."

"First, they must cancel any contract the board has with the conservative Civitas Institute, the right-wing think tank funded by conservative activist Art Pope that was hired to train new Wake School Board members," Michaels writes. "Their services are clearly not needed now."

New board majority to decide whether to keep John Tedesco as vice chairman

One question for the new Democratic majority on the Wake County school board will be what to do with the vice chair's position on Dec. 6.

The board will have to pick a new chair because Ron Margiotta was defeated last month. But the board doesn't have to replace John Tedesco as vice chairman because his one-year term runs until June.

The board could vote Dec. 6 to replace Tedesco. Or the new majority could take no action on the vice chair's position to allow Tedesco to finish out the term.

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