School board member Ron Margiotta got some negative reaction from other board members this week when he proposed elimination of the magnet program.
During Tuesday's discussion about whether to continue the year-round consent process, Margiotta said that the recent court ruling give Wake "absolute authority on student assignments."
As a result, Margiotta said they didn't need the magnet program to achieve the goals of reducing high concentrations of poverty, supporting diverse populations and maximizing use of school facilities.
Margiotta then suggested setting up a date to discuss elimination of the magnet program. Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board, said Margiotta's request was out of line with the motion being considered.
After the meeting, Margiotta elaborated on his intentions.
Margiotta said many of his constituents in District 8, which includes Apex, Holly Springs and southern Cary, can't avail themselves of magnet schools because they're so far away.
Margiotta said that in the face of a major budget crunch Wake should eliminate the magnet program.
"It's hard to justify the expense of these programs," Margiotta said in an interview. "With some of the money we spend, give the programs to other schools."
He envisions dividing up the various magnet offerings around the county with different programs at each school. Less would be offered than now to save money.
Once the economy gets better, Margiotta said Wake could expand what's offered.