Bill Fletcher, who served on the Wake County school board for 12 years, is hoping to return as the replacement for Debra Goldman.
Fletcher said Monday that he wants to bring his “institutional knowledge” to the sometimes tumultuous board and to help build community support for public education. Fletcher applied Friday for the District 9 seat — covering much of Cary — from which Goldman resigned Feb. 1 to lead a Wilkes County nonprofit group.
“I can’t do anything about what’s in the past,” Fletcher said Monday of the recent school board turmoil. “ I can only contribute toward improving education for our kids and community.”
Fletcher, 63, of Cary, served on the school board from 1993 to 2005.
Fletcher was initially elected as a critic of busing for diversity who charged that Wake schools practiced wasteful administrative spending. But the former school board chairman became both a supporter of busing for diversity and increased school funding.
Fletcher was the Republican candidate for state Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2004. The contest, which saw him file a lawsuit charging illegal ballots were counted, was decided when the Democratic-led General Assembly picked his opponent, June Atkinson. The move came under a state constitutional provision governing contested elections.
Since losing his school board re-election bid in 2005, Fletcher said, he’s focused on his career as a real-estate agent and on starting a Rotary Club program that helps first- and second-graders at five high-poverty Wake schools improve their reading skills. Fletcher is the son of the late Fred Fletcher, president and general manager of Capitol Broadcasting.
The Republican and Democratic parties have become actively involved in the officially non-partisan school board races since Fletcher’s tenure.
“The school board is designed to be non-partisan,” he said.“Its focus is on delivering children a high-quality educational program.”
School officials say Fletcher is the only applicant so far for the District 9 vacancy. The filing deadline is Friday.
The board is expected to fill the vacancy in March for the person who will finish out Goldman’s term, which ends in November. Fletcher said he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll run for a full four-year term.