Wake (N.C.) School Board Race Reaches New Political Heights

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

With Wake County having experienced exponential growth and debate raging over school assignment policy, the campaigns for five seats on the Wake County Board of Educationhave gone into overdrive.

The state’s second most populous county, which has largest school district, is facing a critical civic moment, particularly in regards to the assignment of students in light of the county’s rapid population growth and urban sprawl.

With 14 candidates vying to fill five open seats on the county’s school board on Tuesday,  party affiliation has played a prominent role in these officially non-partisan elections.

Democrats seek to unseat the Republican majority formed as a result of the 2009 elections.

“There was very little of the partisan rhetoric you hear today,” said Tim Simmons, vice president of communications for Wake Education Partnership.  “Coverage previous to 2009 had more of a civic responsibility feel to it.”

John Gilbert, a former Wake school board member and retired N.C. State professor, echoed the observation of heightened partisanship.

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