All posts in category Schools

Talk, listen, change

Former UNC Police Officer Keith Edwards, the first black woman on the force, objected to a less-experienced white male officer getting a promotion and raise ahead of her. One day when she walked into the campus police office, she overheard two white male officers complaining about the ensuing court case. “I wish Keith had never […]

A bond without a plan

When it comes to taking on the challenge of increasing the amount of affordable housing, Orange County commissioners would do well to heed the wise counsel of Yogi Berra: “When you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” County commissioners proposed two bond referenda for the November election: $120 million to repair […]

The Deciders

Recently I asked the town manager for an organizational flow chart of town staff that would show who was in charge of what. I received 18 pages of charts in response, most of which broke out the hierarchy of positions in each department. The collection led off, however, with a master chart of management levels. […]

The big money at stake

This election boils down to economic theory. One theory, held by the incumbents and a challenger who as an advisory board member voted in lockstep with them, aims to add enough luxury housing filled with high-wealth individuals that national chain stores will open branches in town. This group is banking on sales tax revenue and […]

Fix schools now, or later?

I stopped by the Orange County Commissioners retreat Friday afternoon to hear how commissioners planned to prioritize and pay for expenses on their wish list. As the discussion about whether to put a $125 million bond referendum on the ballot versus what’s called “pay-as-you-go” unfolded, I realized some commissioners took the “retreat” literally. The county […]

Burned by Burns?

Such generosity we Orange County taxpayers show. Why, just look at the salary and benefits package we are paying County School Superintendent Del Burns — an annual rate of nearly $300,000. Add up his base pay, health coverage, a monthly car allowance of $250 and another $50 a month toward his cell phone, and we […]

See schools run

Recently, I listened to a couple of longtime friends reminisce about their early days as first-graders at Glenwood Elementary School. Both of them entered first grade already knowing how to read. They were put into the Dick and Jane reading group. Average readers were sent to the Spot and Puff group. Those not yet able […]

Senior special

A concept plan for a dense subdivision on the agenda at last week’s council meeting drew not a single resident to protest. Maybe this developer knew to schedule his presentation at the exact same time as a UNC men’s basketball game, or maybe this developer offered something that many of us have been waiting years […]

A roster with ballast

“Fling … ends” read the headline in a local newspaper over a story about candidates running for office. And as I read through the profiles of the final candidates to file for Town Council – Loren Hintz, Jonathan Riehl, Amy Ryan and D.C. Swinton – and the school board – Andrew Davidson and Ignacio Tzoumas […]

Price vs. value

When I heard about the 120 or so taxpayers who showed up at the County Commissioners meeting on May 23 pleading to pay more in taxes to fully fund the schools budget, I recalled a scene from Crocodile Dundee wherein New York City street thugs brandish a switchblade in an attempt to rob the protagonist […]