Wake County school board member John Tedesco says he hasn't given up his quest to bring home to Garner High the students who live in town near the school.
Earlier this year, Tedesco had unsuccessfully proposed the reassignment to Garner High of students who live in historic downtown Garner but who now go to Middle Creek High near Apex. You're likely to see a renewed push at today's board work session.
"I'm asking for hundreds of kids who live in the poorest part of Garner to come back home to Garner and I know what those nodes look like," Tedesco said at last week's board meeting. "They look like 80-90 percent African American families and you know what they say to me all the time, 'Mr. Tedesco I just want to go to school across the street.
I just want to go to school in my community. I can't take a bus to Apex.' So I do know what they look like and they want to come home and I told them I'd sit here and fight for them and that's what I'm going to do."
Tedesco had brought up the race of the people after board member Keith Sutton had charged that the proposed Southeast Raleigh moves from the last student assignment committee meeting were being made by people who want the black kids out of their schools.
School board member Deborah Prickett replied that she didn't know or ask the race of the people in her district who were requesting node moves. But Sutton responded back it's their "responsibility to know what they look like," such as the Southeast Raleigh kids in the areas affected.
Part of the reason Tedesco's proposal didn't go anywhere for this school year was that there wasn't enough space at Garner High to take the kids. Tedesco only wound up getting approved the reassignment of some 100 students out of Garner High and into Southeast Raleigh High, sparking charges of racism that are part of the NAACP's civil rights complaint.
During last week's board work session, Tedesco objected when the Democratic members insisted they should only look at for 2011-12 the moves recommended by staff. Tedesco argued an exception should be made for them to discuss the Garner/Middle Creek moves he proposed last year, which the other board members granted.
But the same capacity issues could be in place unless the board reverses its decision from last week to not consider the recently proposed reassignment of Southeast Raleigh students out of Garner High.