Wake County Schools

School bus
Dave DeWitt

The search for a superintendent for the Wake County Schools enters an important phase today, as public meetings begin.

The meetings serve as an opportunity for anyone and everyone to express what qualities they’d like to see in the next superintendent. The meetings will last three days and include stops in Cary and Raleigh.

  In North Carolina, when you purchase a handgun, your gun permit goes into the state's public records. Recently, however, Republican lawmakers have sponsored a bill that would remove this information from public access. Today on The State of Things we speak with local experts about the struggle between the first and second amendment.

Democratic leaders on the Wake County School Board say Tony Tata's leadership style led to his firing as superintendent. 

Gurnal Scott: Members of the Democratic majority gave some reasons for their vote in a news conference yesterday. But they declined to give specifics. Board chairman Kevin Hill pointed to what he says were operational failures.

Kevin Hill: We've had a disastrous start to the school year in implementation of our assignment plan beginning with the first week in July. We've had a mess with transportation.

Tony Tata
Wake County Schools

The Wake County School Board is looking for a new superintendent. The board's Democratic majority fired Tony Tata yesterday after less than two years on the job. They said little about their reasons. But Republicans blame partisan politics.


Gurnal Scott: A precariously-placed hammer over the head of Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata..finally dropped.

Kevin Hill: At this time I look for a motion from the board to approve the separation agreement between the board and Mr. Tata.

Tony Tata
Wake County Schools

Wake County Schools superintendent Tony Tata may learn today if he still has a job.

Board members spent more than three hours yesterday in closed session. They made no decision. But Republican members who support Tata -- like John Tedesco -- left the meeting upset about where they were.

John Tedesco: In a closed session personnel item when I should be working on something like student achievement.

Families in Wake County will soon have to learn the particulars of yet another student assignment plan.

Our justice system is sometimes referred to as “retributive justice,” meaning when someone commits a crime, the response is to punish them. Now imagine a system where the focus is on healing, rather than punishment, one that allows the victim of a crime to experience a legal process that is interactive and engaging. That is the mission of restorative justice.

It’s a busy time for parents and students as many prepare to go back to school. It’s also an important time for decision-makers in the state’s largest school district.

Dave DeWitt: Wake County Schools have gotten plenty of attention the past few years, most of it unwanted. As the School Board has bickered over school assignment, calendar issues, and other topics, students have continued to perform above the state average. That has occurred despite the fact that Wake spends less per-pupil than the state average.

Wake County School officials are praising students and staff at 4 of the district’s elementary schools for demonstrating higher proficiency on test scores.

Dave DeWitt: The four “Renaissance Schools” are Barwell, Brentwood, Creech Road, and Wilburn. They’re located in different parts of the county, but all serve a predominately low-income population.

School districts are looking at every option to find funding for next year. This summer, a federal stimulus funding package ends, and could lead to teacher layoffs.

Dave DeWitt: Not every school district has what Wake County has a rainy day fund. Now, school board members are considering using a good chunk of the $35 million or so that’s in it to save 500 teacher jobs.

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