US Education Chief Watching NC School Board Desegregation Fight

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, October 27, 2011

<p>Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Wake County, N.C. yesterday promoting President Obama's jobs plan. He visited Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, where he talked about the importance of community colleges to the economic recovery.</p>

<p>Duncan also touched on a pressing local education issue: the contentious race for the Wake County school board. A runoff that will determine the board's political control -- and the future of the school system's desegregation program -- is set for Nov. 8.</p>

<p>Earlier this month, Wake County residents headed to the polls to vote for five seats on the officially nonpartisan nine-seat board, which is currently controlled by a Republican majority that wants to dismantle the district's nationally-recognized socioeconomic diversity policy aimed at avoiding high-poverty and racially-isolated schools. Pro-diversity Democrats won four of the races outright, even defeating current board chair Ron Margiotta, a leader in promoting more demographically homogenous neighborhood schools.

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