The Wake County school board majority is getting political heat now from more than just the minority members on the board.
As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith and Sarah Ovaska, the Raleigh City Council has joined the Democratic members of the Wake County board of commissioners to oppose the school board majority's plans to end the diversity policy. Both have now passed resolutions expressing concerns with the majority's plans.
“We need to do anything in our power to stop the school board,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said to the City Council on Tuesday.
Meeker is married to school board minority member Anne McLaurin.
School board member John Tedesco wasn't happy with the passage of the resolutions by the county and Raleigh. He accused those who had voted for the resolution of "playing politics" and backing an old assignment system that promoted "institutional racism" and failed thousands of students.
Meanwhile, Tedesco and other majority members faced more internal opposition from the board minority on Tuesday over the voluntary desegregation resolution. The school board had to pass the resolution to apply for new federal magnet school grant money.
The tone got strained after minority member Carolyn Morrison introduced her amendment to the resolution. She said she was only proposing it to strengthen Wake's effort to get the magnet grant.
But majority members said Morrison's amendment, along with the tweak from McLaurin, was redundant.
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman questioned the revised wording saying that every effort would be made to avoid minority group isolation when drawing up the new zones. She argued that minority group isolation is now taking place despite the current use of socioeconomic diversity.
But minority board member Kevin Hill said the resolution was only saying they would try to avoid isolation, not that it wouldn't happen.
After the amendment was rejected, Morrison said she couldn't back the resolution.
"I’m very favorable to magnet schools," Morrison said. "I want the magnet grant but I can’t support this resolution."
School board chairman Ron Margiotta responded that he hoped Morrison's vote wouldn't hurt Wake's effort to get the grant. Someone in the crowd said it won't be Morrison's fault if they don't get the grant.
After the vote, Goldman went after board minority member Keith Sutton. She questioned how Sutton could have voted against the resolution when he had helped write it with her and Tedesco.
Sutton took advantage of the option from Margiotta saying he didn't have to respond to Goldman's question.
School board chairman Ron Margiotta opened today's joint meeting by saying that he recognizes that the commissioners' resolution can be in conflict with the school board's new assignment plans. He said they'll meet to discuss it later but need to focus today on the agenda topics.