School board candidates square off

October 12, 2009 9:18:19 PM PDT
Two Wake County school board candidates will find out Tuesday how many votes stand between them leading up to a highly contested run-off election.Dr. Cathy Truitt and John Tedesco both want to be school board members.

Truitt says she isn't backing down from her fight for the last seat on the Wake County school board.

"For the record, my stance has always been that I am pro-community schools," she said.

While critics say she's flip-flopped on the most controversial issue -the reassignment plan- they're also accusing her of wasting taxpayer money with a run-off election.

"That's money that could've been better used to keep another teacher," Tedesco said.

Tedesco has told his supporters the upcoming run-off will cost at least $40,000, a dollar amount the board of elections would not confirm for Eyewitness News and Truitt just doesn't buy.

"If people will consider the fact that those elections are already scheduled, the ballots are set to be printed already and they're just simply going to be adding just two more names, how could that cost money," Truitt said.

But more so than money, both candidates say the race is about Wake County students.

"What we have to do now is get passed our anger about forced bussing and forced reassignment and look at what is going to be good for America and what is going to be good for children," Truitt said.

What is good Truitt says is more rigorous academic programs that help students compete with the rest of the world.

"It's been my platform from day one that we target extra resources for our low income communities and that we help our low socio-economic children raise out of poverty," Tedesco said.

Tedesco says he sees himself as an advocate for students caught in the achievement gap, shuffled around and hidden in Wake County's reassignment plan.

Truitt says she can offer balance with a swing vote.

About the only thing the two agree on is the end of bussing doesn't have to mean the end of diversity.

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