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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.

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Wake County school board members told not to talk to public during tonight's hearing

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It looks like Wake County school board chairman Kevin Hill came up with a way tonight to reduce incidents between board members.

Before the start of the student assignment public hearing, school board member Debra Goldman said she wanted to address the crowd now because Hill has told board members not to talk to the crowd during the meeting. Goldman welcomed parents to the meeting in her distirct and let them know she can relate to them because she too has gone through reassignment in Wake.

This practice of not talking to the public is similar to how assignment hearings have traditionally gone. In Hill's absence Wednesday, board members talked to the crowd after the hearing ended, culminating with the microphone incident between board members Deborah Prickett and Susan Evans.

As the hearing started, Hill reminded the speakers that the meeting was designed as a public hearing and not for public engagement.

There were 50 speakers signed up for tonight's hearing but only around 30 actually talked. There were about 85 people at Davis Drive Middle School's auditorium.

The start of the hearing was delayed 20 minutes because board member Jim Martin was stuck in traffic, keeping a quorum from being present. The other members here tonight were Hill, Evans, Goldman and Christine Kushner.

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Who is surprised by this?

Who is surprised by this? Hill just put into words the actions of Evans. Their intent -- to quote Keith Sutton --is for everyone to "STFU."

I recommend changing "Community Engagement Meetings" to "Sure-we'll-pretend-to-listen,-but-were-going-to-do-what-Bannon-tell-us-to-do-regardless-of what-you-say Meetings."

I wonder how AdvancEd will

I wonder how AdvancEd will view the suppression of free speech of elected school board representatives, how will CUBE view that kind of leadership.  Kudos to Debra Goldman for sticking to her campaign promise of being a voice for the community she represents.

...

Hill has told board members not to talk to the crowd during the meeting

Of course he did. Rather than understand that parents want engagement (as Tata and staff provided with the Choice plan), Hill shuts it down.

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/#storylink=cpy

When these meeting first

When these meeting first started several years ago, I believe they were called "community engagement" meetings.

there were 2 kinds

There were two sets of meetings for some period of time.  First were community engagement meetings led by growth and planning staff.  They would answer some questions and also asked speakers for more specific info.  Then the BOE held public hearings where people spoke but no questions were answered.

As I recall, the public

As I recall, the public hearings took place at a normal Board Meeting, and were more of a formality, as public input was rarely acted on. There weren't any kind of meetings in the community until about 8-9 years ago. You're correct - those first community engagement meetings were conducted by staff ( I recall Ramey Beavers at the first one that I attended). After those presentations, attendees were invited to break up into smaller groups, assigned to a classroom, and a facilitator would lead the group in a discussion and gather feedback.

Not to keep beating this in

Not to keep beating this in the dirt.....but I found a new set of slides I think you should review.  If ever you are again asked to help on a task force that compares Fairfax Va to Wake Co. NC, perhaps you will consider this (as I seriously doubt I'll be asked).

http://cra.gmu.edu/pdfs/Fairfax_County_Sequestration.pdf

Beating in the dirt

Everyone wants lower government spending until it impacts them.  The reality is we cannot afford to keep borrowing money from China to pay for defense spending.  We can't keep borrowing money from China to hand over to Pharmacutical companies so they can provide drugs to Asia at 1/3rd the price charged to the US consumer. 

With regards to the per pupil spending - Wake County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country and yet we rank at the bottom of a state that ranks at the bottom of the country. It is not about affordability it is about priority and the commisisoners of Wake County have decided not to support public schools.  This was clear in the November elections when all of the revenue referendums past by overwhelming majorities. I rather like the Massachusettts model where you get 2.5% per year and if the school wants more it goes to a vote. Let the voters decide. 

Solon77, Whenever I need

Solon77,

Whenever I need someone to make a stupid comment....I can always count on you chiming in.

#1- The context of the discussing between Jeffrey and I was Wed early release and employment differences between Fairfax Co. and Wake Co.  If you'd like to take on that losing battle, feel free.

Everyone wants lower government spending until it impacts them.  The reality is we cannot afford to keep borrowing money from China to pay for defense spending.

#2- I'm fine with decreasing defense spending as long as we lower entitlement spending at a 3:1 ratio. As much as spending on defense has increased in the last decade (from historic lows mind you), spending on entitlements has dramatically outpaced that increase as a percent of GDP.  See link below to see just how stupid your first comment was.

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/defense-entitlement-spending

We can't keep borrowing money from China to hand over to Pharmaceutical companies so they can provide drugs to Asia at 1/3rd the price charged to the US consumer. 

#3- Who’s handing money over to pharmaceutical companies?   Please let me know because we could use some of that…Last I checked, the drugs provided by pharmaceutical companies SAVE Americans BILLIONS of dollar in healthcare spending.  If you don’t believe that, just imagine getting an infection and having to spend a week in the hospital because you didn’t have an antibiotic to treat it.  Or imagine having uncontrollable high blood pressure and how that may affect your work productivity or cause you to spend a few nights a year in a hospital.   Lastly, did you know that the only way China will allow someone to sell a drug in China is if it is also manufactured in China?  That certainly cuts down on cost but do you really want to take a drug that was manufactured in China?  FDA cannot inspect the manufacturing plants, cost is cut to the bone and so are quality control measures.  If you want cheaper drugs, that’s what you’re going to get but keep in mind you get what you pay for!  Really really dumb comment. 

With regards to the per pupil spending - Wake County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country

#4- What is that statement based on?  I’ve check a few list of wealthiest counties in the country but Wake Co. is not on any of them.  Fairfax Co, on the other hand, along with several other DC burb counties tops EVERY LIST.  So…in order to not look like a moron, please provide a link that substantiates your comment.

It is not about affordability it is about priority and the commissioners of Wake County have decided not to support public schools.

#5- The county commissioners are an elected body so it appears they have support from the electorate that giving this BOE as well as previous BOE’s additional funds is not a good investment.  That has MORE to do with a lack of trust of the BOE/School system to put those funds to good use rather than a lack of support for public schools.  Also, when you compare to Fairfax Co., the majority of the increase in per pupil spending is SIMPLY a COL adjustment for salaries and PENSIONS.  Check out these links below to see what is happening in Fairfax with regard to teacher pensions.   Spoiler Alert-All that pps is NOT going to the classroom.

http://www.fcta.org/data/fx-public-schools/are-salaries-of-fairfax-county-teachers-too-high-too-low-or-just-right

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2013/budget_questions/bos/responses_package_3/57_md_retirement_comp.pdf

http://www.sfexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/fairfax-faces-choice-raise-taxes-fund-teacher-pensions-or-tame-local-spend

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/virginia-schools-insider/post/fairfax-teacher-pay-retirement-benefits-are-key-issues-in-school-budget-debate/2012/05/16/gIQALG7QUU_blog.html

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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