How much of the acrimony over the move to community based schools in Wake County is because of a lack of communication by the school board?
As noted in today's article, the Raleigh City Council passed a resolution in April expressing concern about the move to community based schools and asked for information on how the demographics at area schools would be impacted. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker expressed irritation at Monday's East Raleigh CAC meeting about not having gotten a response to the request.
"They didn't feel they had to respond to us," Meeker said. "A city of 45 percent of the students expressing concern about what they're doing and they didn't bother to send a letter back to us."
Click here for the link to watch the video from the meeting. Go to the 52:30 minute mark.
In the school board's defense, the plan is still being developed so arguably the level of data that Meeker wants isn't available yet. But he and other critics of the board majority have talked about a "secret plan" having been developed.
Meeker has reached out for help in forming his new group to analyze the new plan in case he needs to encourage legal action be filed by a community group. This would keep the city out of being the plaintiff.
Denlinger said the school board isn't taking enough input from the public on what it plans to do.
"If the public is not broadly involved in this process...the plan itself will be short-lived and our school system will be damaged," Denlinger said.
Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams is no fan of what Meeker is doing, saying there's nothing in the "mayor's manual" for what he's doing. He said Meeker shouldn't even be raising the possibility of legal action.
But Williams said he's concerned that the school board isn't doing enough to get the public involved in the process. Williams, who supports the new board majority, said both sides need to sit down and talk right now.
"Cooler heads can prevail and must prevail before there are more demonstrations and more protests in the streets," Williams said.
School board member John Tedesco, chairman of the student assignment committee, has said there will be multiple community meetings to get input on the new plan.
School board chairman Ron Margiotta said Thursday that there will substantial citizen input into the process.