Enloe stands on shakier ground

Board inches closer to renaming

Staff WriterJune 25, 2010 

— The Wake County school board moved a step closer Thursday toward renaming Enloe High School, reining in the power of the superintendent and moving the district's main offices to Cary.

The school board's policy committee agreed Thursday to recommend ending the ban on naming schools after people. The policy would need to be changed in order to rename Enloe High, a move that would likely draw heated debate.

Members of the school board majority have said they want to explore renaming William G. Enloe High School after an African American following recent comments by their opponents about the racial policies of the Raleigh mayor whose name the school bears.

As Raleigh mayor from 1957 to 1963, Enloe presided over a transition from a fully segregated city to one headed in a more moderate direction. He was the manager of a pair of segregated downtown theaters, but in 1963 he formed a Committee of 100 aimed at easing Raleigh's path toward integration.

School board Chairman Ron Margiotta has asked John Tedesco, a key board ally, to review William G. Enloe's history and stance on civil rights issues.

Wake County Commissioner Stan Norwalk has said the name change is an attempt to punish the Enloe High community for opposing the board majority's elimination of the diversity policy.

Superintendent's power

Also Thursday, the policy committee agreed to recommend requiring the superintendent to get board approval before reorganizing Central Office staff and changing school principals.

Debra Goldman, chairwoman of the policy committee, said the board wants to be able to "pull in the reins" if the superintendent wants to make a decision that goes against the wishes of the board.

The potential change comes as the school board is looking for a new superintendent following Del Burns' resignation because he disagreed with the new majority's policies.

The full board could vote on the school name and superintendent duties policies on July 20.

In a special meeting Thursday, the full school board voted to ask for state permission to relocate its main administrative offices from North Raleigh.

Under the plan, the school system will lease additional office space at Crossroads Corporate Park, located off Dillard Drive near Crossroads shopping center in Cary. This would result in Wake consolidating several locations, including selling the main building at 3600 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh.

School leaders say the plan could save $29 million over the next 20 years. The move could also bring as many as 470 new jobs to Cary.

Wake County commissioners voted 6-1 on Monday to approve the deal.

The plan now goes to the state Local Government Commission, which has final say on the issue. School administrators said the Local Government Commission will discuss the issue July 6.

The move, pending state approval, would take place in 2011.

keung.hui@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4534

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