Tedesco wins District 2 seat

November 16, 2009 7:40:15 AM PST
John Tedesco has won the Wake County School Board District 2 seat.By 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the results were in and Tedesco won 77 percent over his opponent Cathy Truitt. She even showed up to his precinct to offer her support and congratulate him in person afterwards.

Truitt withdrew from the run-off weeks ago, but then over the weekend said she would take the job if elected.

Click here for the election results

Tedesco says one of his first missions will be to end the busing of students out of their neighborhood for the sake of economic diversity.

"I've committed to being a board member who's going to represent our people," Tedesco said. "Now you're going to have a majority of the board who are actually dealing with children in schools today."

Last month, Chris Malone was elected in District 1, along with Deborah Prickett in District 7 and Debra Goldman in District 9. The only community school candidate who failed to win outright last month was Tedesco.

Now that community schools supporters have won all four seats that were open, those new board members are expected to team up with existing board member Ron Margiotta to gain a 5 to 4 majority in major policy decisions.

The new members could tilt the board away from its longstanding policy designed to increase diversity in classrooms. The current policy lets the school system shuffle students in an effort to achieve a better socio-economic balance.

With a target of no more than 40 percent of students any school receiving free or reduced-price lunches, student can be moved from school to school to maintain that level of socioeconomic diversity. High levels of growth in southern and northern areas of Wake have also meant students have been moved to fill new schools and relieve overcrowding.

However, the North Carolina NAACP said Monday it would sue the Wake County School Board if it ends its controversial busing policy.

"After Tuesday, we are prepared to analyze every policy the new board puts in place. We're prepared to litigate, whether we use Title 6 laws under the civil rights act or whether we use the courts federally or the state courts, we are prepared to fight that every child has a constitutional education that's what's at stake," offered NC NAACP President William Barber.

Despite the NAACP's concerns that doing away with Wake County's diversity policy could bring back segregation in schools, Tedesco says educating children of poverty will also be a focus.

"How do we raise them up instead of leave them behind in a failed system, that's the real issue," he said.

Eyewitness News spoke with Reverend Barbar on the phone Tuesday night and he said every child has a right to quality education and if that's compromised by the new board members in Wake County the NAACP is prepared to fight back.

The new school board members will hold their first meeting in December.

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