Wake County Commissioner Stan Norwalk is going to force his fellow commissioners to take a stand on the school board's decision to scrap socioeconomic diversity.
Norwalk has put on today's agenda a resolution saying that the commissioners and Raleigh City Council "express their deep concern over any attempt to resegregate Wake’s public schools by either race or socioeconomic status."
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who has been critical of the new Wake County school board majority, said he received the resolution a week ago from Norwalk. He said it will be discussed at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
In Norwalk's resolution, he warns that Raleigh and Eastern Wake will be prone to middle class flight now that will adversely impact economic development, job creation and property values in both areas.
The resolution says that it will also lead to schools in Eastern Wake and Raleigh being below capacity while there will be "severe overcrowding in more prosperous areas of the county."
The resolution warns that there will be "significant tax increases" to pay for new schools in crowded areas and for special initiatives to help the high poverty schools.
With four of the seven commissioners running for reelection this year, you can bet today's vote will likely be mentioned during the campaign.
Norwalk's resolution harkens back to the failed attempt by the school board minority to amend the community schools resolution to say that the new assignment system won't lead to resegregation.
Members of the school board majority called it a political move while minority members said it would show the district's commitment to diversity.
By a 4-3 vote, all four Democrats voted for the resolution while all three Republicans, who are all running for re-election this year, voted no.
At the urging of Democrat Lindy Brown, who is also running for re-election, the resolution was amended to say it will adversely impact economic development, job creation and property values in all of Wake County. It originally only said Raleigh and Eastern Wake.
By the same 4-3 party line vote, language calling for support to lift the state's charter school cap was removed from the commissioners' legislative agenda.