Wake board approves same-gender academy plan

September 21, 2011 3:22:18 AM PDT
The Wake County Board of Education approved a $130 million school facilities plan Tuesday that includes adding an all-boys and an all-girls leadership program.

The vote was split down party lines with the exception of Keith Sutton, who sided with the majority and voted yes.

Some parents and school board members say the decision came too quickly and without enough information.

The $130 million would cover the cost of new school facilities and help with overcrowding and construction in other schools. However, school board minority member Ann McLaurin says those are two different issues.

"We should be discussing these things separately," McLaurin said. "I am in favor of these academies as a matter of fact, but I think that should be very clear. That's very different from the facilities motion that was presented."

Superintendent Tony Tata said he supports a bundle vote. "I believe that we have a strong vision to efficiently spend tax payer dollars, create more space, and broaden our program offerings."

The board approved the funding 5 to 3.

"These leadership academies are only more of what we're trying to bring forward to the future of Wake County public schools," board member John Tedesco said. "If you say that you want to support something, you have to say you want to fund it. You have to put your money where your mouth is."

"I think they're a good idea," McLaurin added. "But no, I think we ought to go out and look at a couple of them. We ought to get experience, talk to people that have had experience in these."

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