Wake school board wants to have fewer meetings

WAKE COUNTY This past Tuesday, the school board meeting quickly turned chaotic as protesters rallied against the school board's decision to end the busing for diversity program.

"They have an agenda, they have a plan and nothing is going to impact that, that is what it feels like," Rev. Nancy Petty said.

Petty was just one of 19 protesters that were arrested.

Wake County School Board Vice-Chair Debra Goldman says the proposal isn't a done deal, but she says the change would give them more time to work.

"It was a policy change, so that will have to have a second reading," Goldman said. "We're going to have more time to sit face to face and really have discussions about these issues before we get to the table."

The policy change would also end standing committee meetings, which Board Member Kevin Hill says he is concerned about.

"It pulls us out of the public when really we need to be transparent," he said.

"I don't agree that we're trying to limit public input, I encourage public input," Goldman said.

Petty says concerned citizens may have to take their own action to get their voices heard.

"There may be some other people that need to organize public meetings, whether the board sponsors them or not," she said.

In the meantime, a possible solution for diversity called "controlled choice" is being discussed.

It's an idea gaining traction from both sides of the school board. It would create different school zones that would each reflect the county's diversity.

The changes to the Wake County public school system are inevitable since the board majority voted to end the busing for diversity program.

On Tuesday, the board will hear a presentation from an education consultant who has helped other school districts across the state by offering a dozen or more school zones that would reflect the diversity all over Wake County.

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