Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata isn't backing down from the concerns he's raised about the ties between the Great Schools in Wake Coalition and school board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner.
Tata issued a statement today warning that the two board members may have "potential serious code of ethics violations" because of their ties with Great Schools. He also alleges that Great Schools has a "stranglehold" on the board members.
Both board members told Tata in their email responses they're not currently involved with the group. But Tata charges they refused his requests to sever ties with Great Schools.
Tata is supposed to meet with Evans and Kushner this week to talk in person about the concerns.
Here's a quick preface to Tata's statement. I tried to reach Tata on Monday but it appears the message never reached him.
"My response would have been that these are potential serious code of ethics violations on behalf of some board members of which I have already personally alerted the board chair to. I have had multiple private conversations with these members asking them to sever their ties with this special interest group and they refused. Membership in or support of special interest groups is strictly forbidden, as are secret meetings, secret draft resolutions and the like. Their attendance on stage as members of GSIW less than 3 weeks ago at an award ceremony is tantamount to members of the general assembly banking and finance committee receiving an award on behalf of Bank of America and then returning to the committee table pretending to represent all banks and the public equally. All of this came to light at the same time last week on the heels of their very public display of membership in and support of a special interest group. While March's Advance Ed report got dramatic coverage because it hammered one side of the aisle the recent report got tepid coverage. I fear that the hard work put into raising our accreditation, protecting our high school diplomas, and demonstrating good governance over the past year is threatened by the very narrow interests of this special interest group and the stranglehold they have on a couple of board members. But I think we can work through this and we have a meeting Friday to discuss how to move forward.
Had you asked, that is what I would have said."