Former Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata has been named today the new state Transportation Secretary by Gov.-elect Pat McCrory.
Tata was noted for his logistical skills during his long career in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of brigadier general.
But Tata's critics will also point to the major problems that the school system experienced this school year with the buses. It's one of the factors that the school board's Democratic majority cited when they fired Tata, officially without cause, in September.
Tata had presented a plan, approved by the school board in March, to remove 27 buses from the road to save money. On its own, staff would go on to remove 25 more buses.
The 52 buses were removed the same time that bell schedules were changed at many schools and buses were asked to run an additional 13,200 miles a day to service the choice plan.
Once this school year started, parents of thousands of students complained about buses coming late or not at all. The problems grew so bad that Wake ultimately wound up restoring 43 of the 52 buses.
Tata would on several occasions apologize for the bus problems. In the ensuing fallout, Don Haydon resigned as chief of facilities and operations although board Democrats charged that Tata had made him a scapegoat.