Editorial: When tinkering becomes meddling

April 26, 2013 

There has long been a tension between county commission members and school board members. Wake County is no different than any other county in North Carolina in that regard. Disagreements become magnified by the size and visibility of the two agencies and the political gamesmanship can become supercharged.

Now state legislators are stepping into the fray. The Senate, last week, adopted legislation that would redraw voting districts and move the date of the election of school board members from October to May.

The new districts would create two at-large seats, but they also create a gigantic district around the county to be served by a single representative. That district, which includes Wendell, Knightdale and Zebulon, would also stretch to its normal boundaries – through Rolesville and Wake Forest. But it also stretches south to Garner and around the northwestern part of the county to Brier Creek. It’s not exactly a district that shares a common set of needs.

Wake’s districts have never really been a problem for the voting electorate. With the possible exception of this region’s current district, which includes both northern and eastern Wake County, the districts have been logical and fairly compact, grouping voters with like interests.

It’s hard, despite Sen. Neal Hunt’s protestations to the contrary, to see the changes in voting districts as anything less than a political maneuver.

And, therein lies the problem Wake County schools face. The adults can’t get past their ridiculous political gamesmanship long enough to realize more attention needs to be paid to the needs of children and what’s best for them.

Do we feel like a political pawn in all this? You bet.

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