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Message concerning Board of Education Elections

Craven County Commissioners Resolution to Make the Board of Education Elections Partisan
March 29, 2021

We understand that many parents have voiced strong objections to actions taken by the Craven County
Board of Education and this appears to have peaked in recent months, including –

  • Perceived non-responsiveness to families and local officials by the Board of Education
  • Concerns with the treatment of children with special needs
  • Frustration with the Board of Education’s actions during the time of the COVID pandemic

As a result, the Craven County Commissioners have drafted a resolution to make the Board of Education
elections partisan.

In addition, other dynamics appear to be in play. The NC Republican Party Platform states, in Article VI.
Elections, 8. “We support partisan elections for all offices.” Changing the Board of Education elections to
partisan meets this objective.

This has been a dismal year for all schools due to the pandemic. Every parent has had challenges with it.
However, we don’t believe making the Board of Education elections partisan will resolve these issues.
Methods to Effectively Respond to the Commissioners Regarding Board of Education Election Issues
Positive first-person testimonies from parents, students, volunteers, or others with direct connection
with the schools and the educators are needed. If you know such a person, please encourage them to
share their positive experiences by –

  • Emails to the Commissioners will be valuable over the next few days
  • Affirming comments will be valuable
  • We do not want to politicize this issue, it should be about what is best for the students
  • At the public hearing on Monday April 5, speakers are needed who can share first-person stories
    of positive experiences with local teachers, schools, administrators and the Board of Education,
    despite the recent year’s problems.
    o The meeting starts at 7:00 PM, the doors open at 6:00 PM
    o It will be held in the Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front Street
    o To be a speaker you must sign up in person at the meeting
    o In deference to COVID 19, public comments may be emailed to Clerk to the Board, Nan
    Holton at nholton@cravencountync.gov with a deadline of 12 noon on Monday, April 5,
    2021. The Clerk to the Board of Commissioners can be reached at 252-636-6600

Positive first-person testimonies are the best course of action at this time.  The high level of stress for families who have endured the pandemic and school issues appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back on this issue. It seems that facts, political arguments, or abstract discussions will have little effect in persuading the Commissioners at this point.
This community crisis could actually offer an opportunity to work together regardless of political affiliation if enough people would work to ensure the best for the children of Craven County.