No decision on early exit for Burns


Shortly after the 10 a.m. meeting began, the board went into a closed session.

The first issue at hand -- should the board force out Superintendent Burns before his June 30th resignation?

According to Burns' contract, he is entitled to unused leave and other benefits through his resignation date. The total falls between $150,000 and $200,000.

A 20 million-dollar budget cut to central services coupled with job losses make it hard for some people to accept the idea of letting the Superintendent leave his position early, if it means the school system will have to pay him to sit out while paying someone else to take over.

But after recessing and reconvening from its closed session just after noon, the board moved on to other agenda items and did not allude to an early departure for the Superintendent.

There is a possibility the board could make a decision later today in a closed session.

"I plan to work for the children in Wake County Schools through June 30th," said Burns after the closed door session.

He would not say what was discussed during the roughly 15 minutes he was called in to talk with the board.

In February, Burns abruptly announced his intention to leave -- a few years before his contract expires. He said he could not in good conscience carry out the policies the new majority of the school board wants to implement.

One of the policies being considered for change is busing students for diversity. The new board wants to move toward community schools, which will allow students to attend school in the neighborhood where they live.

The board also could decide to convert some year-round schools to a traditional calendar, which will likely lead to reassignments and overcrowding.

Some students are planning to protest the board's decisions this afternoon, and a lot of people are expected to speak out during the public comment portion of the meeting.

For more information about the issues of year-round schools and diversity, click here.

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