This bleak gray morning is fitting for the residual anger and despair I’m feeling after sitting through the nearly seven hour open portion of the Wake County School Board meeting last night.
Anger that the majority—the Gang of Five—jammed through their yet-to-be-seen resolution to begin dismantling Wake County’s diversity policy in favor of “community zones” that will likely result in a slew of more school reassignments and an increase in high poverty schools.
Anger that the majority did so in the most flagrant display of arrogance and disregard for transparency and due process that I have ever witnessed in my years of observing policy-making.
Anger that the majority passed a sweeping resolution without any fiscal analysis of their community zones plan yet suddenly became fiscal hawks in the same meeting, quibbling over approving construction for a new elementary school that was already delayed three years and had gone through a lengthy approval and budgeting process.
Despair that even with pro-diversity speakers at the public meeting outnumbering opponents by nearly eight to one, it didn’t make a difference.
Despair that even with 94.8% of Wake County parents expressing satisfaction with their children’s’ schools in a recent parent survey, that’s apparently not enough satisfaction.
Despair that a “majority” actually only represents, based on the number of votes that won them their seats:
–18% of the Wake County student population
–4% of the total number of Wake County registered voters
–2% of the total Wake County population.
Despair that we have to wait until 2011 to even begin changing the School Board’s makeup as Chair Margiotta is the only member of the majority up for re-election before 2013.
And I could go on. But I do have a glimmer of hope in the fact that I know I’m not the only one heavy with anger and despair this morning. There are thousands of us across Wake County, who’ve been through these schools and have children in these schools. And if we were sleeping before, we’re awake now.