Battle over schools moves to commission

May 20, 2010 3:23:06 PM PDT
Ending Wake County school's socio-economic diversity busing policy has some in the community so riled up that attention has now turned to the county commissioners. Several members up for re-election in November and some say they could be the first to feel the political effects.

"I think the people in Wake County, no matter which side they fall on, are gonna be, you know, really working hard for their candidates," offered Jennifer Lanane with the Wake chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Whoever controls the Wake County Commission controls the money - even for schools.

Lanane says it's discouraging to see a school board that she feels has become highly politicized and divided along party lines.

"It's not good for the children. It's not good for teachers. It's not good for public education, she offered.

But Wake County School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta has a different take on the situation.

"To me, it's not at all political. It's a matter of what has to be done for families," he said.

Margiotta told ABC11 he doesn't think politics is a factor.and isn't too concerned about his own re-election in 2011.

"It's become an emotional issue to a very few that have been benefitting from the system in the past," he said.

Margiotta says in the next 9 to 15 months, we should see the development of a student assignment policy he describes as 'family-friendly'.

"Families are going to choose their schools rather than being assigned to schools. We expect to have stability," he said.

Lanane hopes that stability won't come at the expense of a school system she feels is already great.

"I know the people aren't gonna change, and the kids aren't gonna change. But I hope our philosophy doesn't change," she said.

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