The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

Choose a blog

Setting the rules for filling the board vacancy

Bookmark and Share

For what could be the only time in his/her life, the new school board member for District 4 could see what it's like to speak to board members while under the clock.

Board members agreed Tuesday to give each of the nine applicants 30 minutes to answer questions at today's meeting. The plan is to put the applicants on the same timer in the board room that measures how long people have to speak during public comment sessions.

That was one of the things that came up during a fairly lengthy discussion about the ground rules that would be used during the interview and selection process.

For instance, there was a debate about whether to hold today's meeting in the board room or the board conference room.

Today's meeting is open to the public but it's uncertain how many people will attend. It was pointed out by board member Patti Head that the conference room might be too small to handle the crowd.

But board member Beverley Clark said she preferred doing the interviews around the table in the conference room because it will promote a more "collegial" atmosphere.

But board member Eleanor Goettee said they should use the more formal setting of the board room.

In the end, the board agreed to use the main board room.

There was also a debate as to whether to provide to the candidates in advance the five questions they'll be asked. All the applicants will be asked the same questions.

Board members will open today's meeting by agreeing upon the questions. They've submitted questions to Terri Cobb, chief of staff for Supt. Del Burns, rather than share them among themselves to keep them from becoming public information that the applicants will see.

The end result is that they agreed to not release the questions ahead of time. Even though the meeting is public, they'll ask candidates to step outside while the others are being interviewed.

There's nothing that requires the applicants to leave the room but staying could rankle some board members.

The applicants will also be asked to not look online before their interviews in case the questions are posted by members of the public or news media.

Other issues that came up Tuesday were whether board members should sit at their seats in the board room or at the staff table, should they videotape the meeting and who should ask the questions.

Today's interviews aren't slated to be aired on public television. That drew complaints from some board members.

Instead, staff may videotape the meeting. The meeting will definitely be audio recorded.

Clark questioned the need to videotape the meeting during a time of limited resources.

After the final interview, board members said they'll wait until Thursday to hold a vote. Board member Lori Millberg said they'll ask candidates not to have them or their supporters lobby them between the end of today's meeting and Thursday's vote.

While some of the details are still being worked out, board members will open Thursday's meeting with a written ballot vote. They'll tentatively put either two or four names on the ballot with no ranking of the applicants.

The top four vote-getters after the first ballot will continue through further balloting until a person is chosen.

Board chairman Kevin Hill can't vote so it will be up to the other seven board members.


Click here for the interview schedule. 


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I totally agree with

I totally agree with theglove...if you decide to quit, you do not get the chance to part of the decision making of the new member. It is only fair. However, maybe that can be something to look at in the future with the new board and change that part of the law or at least a recommendation to ammend that section.

QUOTE: "But board member

QUOTE: "But board member Beverley Clark said she preferred doing the interviews around the table in the conference room because it will promote a more "collegial" atmosphere."

COMMENT: It would have been nice if she had considered that approach when listening to the concerns of parents.

Resigning and departing members should not be eligible...

Resigning and departing BOE members should not be eligible to vote on replacements. It is the committed members and newly elected members who will have to work with the new appointees moving forward. The quitters and members who are not running again are no longer relevant.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.