Wake GOP opposes school bond issue

August 21, 2013 8:21:04 PM PDT
The Wake County Republican Party wants the Wake School System's $810 million bond to get a no vote.

The district says the bond is needed to pay for 16 new schools and major renovations. However, the Wake County GOP says it has no confidence in the Democratically-controlled Wake County School Board, and therefore it shouldn't get that money.

Board Chairman Keith Sutton says the county is growing, and more students are coming in. So the money would be used to upgrade and build schools to accommodate the influx.

Sutton and fellow board members say the county has already approved the bonds. The Wake County GOP argues the board shouldn't be granted that money because it lacks transparency.

"I've not seen it. Everything we've done to my knowledge has been completely transparent," said Sutton. "We get a ton of public records requests. Those are always responded to, of course everything that we do, you all are there."

"There are those who use schools for partisan politics," said board member Jim Martin. "It's sad. It shouldn't be. Building our schools, the need is twofold. One it's the history. We have more than 2 million square feet that hasn't been renovated."

The GOP responded with a statement which said in part, "It is not the buildings we need as much as more oversight of land purchases, better and less expensive school construction, and better use of existing facilities. The Wake County School Board must do a far better job of providing maximum value and better stewardship of our school children's money."

Board members say those existing facilities need work and can only stretch so far with the thousands more students they are expecting to enroll in the coming school years.

Again, the bonds already have county approval and will be on Wake County ballots for a final vote in October.

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