Wake County school group picks spouse of Chris Malone’s opponent to be its leader

Posted by T. Keung Hui on June 13, 2014 

CORRECTED TO ELIMINATE REFERENCE TO MELISE MOUNTCASTLE BEING HER HUSBAND’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER.

State Rep. Chris Malone is not getting love from the Wake County school system, where he served as a school board member from 2009 to 2012.

This week, the school system’s Knightdale Area Education Work Group announced that Melise Mountcastle would be leading its community effort to build support for helping the town’s schools. She’s also the wife of Brian Mountcastle, the Democratic nominee for the N.C. House District 35 seat now held by Malone, a Republican.

The Work Group was formed by the school system last year following a decade of complaints from Knightdale community and business leaders that the town’s school have been neglected.

The group is supposed to work with $150,000 that’s been put into the school system’s new budget to study how to help Knightdale’s schools. But that stiudy was thrown into doubt Thursday.

School board members said they’re going to have to put on hold new programs such as the Knightdale study until they see how much money is cut by the state.

“The legislature is systematically transferring state expenses to local county budgets,” school board member Bill Fletcher said. “The current expectation is that there’s at least $15 million of that practice that’s going to impact Wake County school district’s operating budget next year.

That $15 million has to come from somewhere. The first $10 million is likely to come from the proposed expansion budget.”

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