Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is painting a bleak picture on the future of community-based schools as he laments last night's vote by vice chairwoman Debra Goldman.
In an interview this morning on WPTF's "Rick & Donna Martinez Show," Margiotta called Goldman's vote with the Democrats in favor of board member Kevin Hill's student assignment process "very disappointing." He said they've "lost" Goldman along the way since last fall's school board elections.
During the interview, Margiotta said they're now the former majority and Goldman has joined the Democrats to form a new majority.
Margiotta said he didn't know how things would proceed with Hill's proposal. He said that Goldman's Oct. 5 vote killing the zone plan means they lost all the "excellent progress" that the student assignment committee had made toward providing parents with proximity and stability.
Margiotta contested the assertions from Goldman that they're still moving toward community-based schools.
"I can't believe that's going to be the case with the outcome of last night's vote," Margiotta said on implementing community-based schools. "All it tends to do is slow down the process."
Margiotta was asked about the state of the board majority.
"It's over," Margiotta said. "I think it's gone now. I think it went a little far on too many issues. I would say I would believe the majority is gone."
Margiotta was asked whether personality issues between Goldman and board member John Tedesco may have led to the split on the majority. Margiotta said "it's far more than that" as he commented on Tedesco's blistering attacks on Goldman after the Oct. 5 vote.
"He reacted in a way that could be understandable but wasn't in the proper mode," Margiotta said of Tedesco. "I think he made confessions on that point, a few names, whatever. Sometimes in the heat of the argument, stuff happens."
Margiotta was asked whether he'd take away the responsibility of the superintendent search from the committee being led by Goldman because of the arguments made Tuesday that student assignment is so important that all nine school board members should be involved.
Margiotta said the work of the superintendent search committee was finished now that it has designated candidates. He said he expects things to be turned over to the full board now.
Based on the way the "new majority feels," Margiotta said they might need to have all nine board members on every committee.
Margiotta said they'll have to wait until next fall's school board elections to get the job done they committed to last October. He reiterated his intention to run for school board next year now that the "train has derailed" because of Goldman's actions.
"It's very important for me to get the job done that we started on last October when these people started campaigning," Margiotta said.