With the stage all to himself, Benton argues for Knightdale’s needs

mhankerson@newsobserver.comOctober 2, 2013 

— With recent reports showing low graduation rates and an independent audit confirming parents’ complaints, Knightdale schools were the center of attention at a District 1 school board candidate forum last week.

Tom Benton, incumbent candidate for the District 1 seat, said the whole district has needs, but parents and administrators have had concerns about Knightdale schools for years.

At a forum organized by various nonpartisan groups on Sept. 26, Benton talked about what he sees as the most pressing concerns in the Wake school board’s first district , which includes Knightdale, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon. Don McIntyre, his opponent, had a family emergency and could not participate in the forum.

Last month, an independent audit showed Knightdale schools were lacking resources and have had trouble with teacher training and retention.

Benton said different parts of the district have different needs. Near Wake Forest and Rolesville, there needs to be more room for the rapid growth, Benton said.

In Knightdale, Benton said the county and local administrators should consider individual schools’ needs.

“Equal doesn’t always mean equitable,” he told the group at last week’s forum. “Some of us need other things to help us do what we have to do. It’s not a hard concept to understand. It’s a hard concept to fund.”

Wake County Public School System’s demographics profile for the 2012-2013 school year showed that among all five Knightdale schools, a little over 1,000 students participate in the English as a Second Language or Limited English Profiency programs.

The forum also included information about the Wake County school bond referendum, which Benton supports.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter @easternwakenews

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