The Wake County school system could become the only school district in the state to not be a member of the N.C. School Boards Association.
At today's committee of the whole meeting, the school board will discuss whether to keep Wake's membership in the NCSBA, the National School Boards Association, NSBA's Council of Urban Boards of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
At issue for members of the new board majority are the membership costs for the groups, particularly for the NCSBA. School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman said Wake pays more than $40,000 a year combined to be a member of the NCSBA and NSBA.
Leanne Winner, director of governmental relations for the NCSBA, said every school district in the state has been a member since the 1970s. She said one exception was about six years ago when the Winston-Salem/Forsyth school system dropped out for a year before returning.
Winner said Wake wouldn't be able to join the NSBA or CUBE if it leaves the NCSBA.
If the school board opts to leave the NCSBA, it wouldn't be the first time the majority has bucked the group and the state's education establishment.
Wake didn't just reject the NCSBA's request to add requesting taxing authority for local school districts to the district's 2010 legislative agenda. Wake took the opposite stand and added opposing giving taxing authority to local boards to the agenda.
More recently, the superintendent search committee recommended Heidrick & Struggles at $82,500 plus expenses to be the search firm.
The NCSBA had offered to do the superintendent search at $15,000 plus expenses, which has been cited by critics of the new board. But Goldman said the difference between NCSBA and Heidrick is much less when you factor in the NCSBA membership fee.
CUBE, as you recall, gave an award to Wake last year for the district's old diversity policy.
SACS is an accrediting agency. It's been in the news recently because the state NAACP filed a complaint against Wake with SACS. The complaint is still under review.
Clarified to indicate the $40,000 figure would reflect the combined cost of being a member of NCSBA and NSBA. It's $26,415 to join NCSBA and $14,000 to join NSBA.
Staff had planned to renew the memberships because the money is already in the proposed budget. But the board now plans to add to today's agenda a vote on remaining members of those groups. Whether the vote will be to stay or go remains to be seen.