One Democrat backs amendment making N.C. Board of Education members elected | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David Bass.

    North Carolina Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County was the only Democrat to support a proposed constitutional amendment that would make members of the N.C. Board of Education elected rather than appointed.

    The vote was taken Feb. 7 during the House K-12 Education Committee. Cotham is the newly minted co-chair of the committee, along with Republican Reps. Hugh Blackwell of Burke County and John Torbett of Gaston County.

    Under the amendment, House Bill 17, membership on the board would expand to the 14 seats that correspond to North Carolina's number of congressional districts, and each member would be elected in their respective congressional district. The amendment would also make Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt the chair of the board.

    With Cotham's support, H.B. 17 ostensibly would have enough votes to achieve the required 72 votes on the full House floor to pass. If approved by a three-fifths majority of both chambers, the amendment would appear on the ballot in the 2024 General Election for a simple majority vote. Constitutional amendments are not subject to a veto by the governor.

    The amendment is controversial because it could substantially shift the political balance of power on the state's top educational governing body.

    Under the current framework, members of the board are appointed by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper for eight-year terms, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. But of the currently serving members, only three are Republican appointees: Olivia Oxendine, Amy White, and Eric Davis, who chairs the board and is registered unaffiliated. Republicans have added strength from ex officio members in Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and State Treasurer Dale Folwell, who are not appointed and serve until their terms in office expire.

    The bottom line is that Republicans often find themselves on the losing end of votes on key policy matters. The amendment could change that power dynamic.

    During debate in committee, Blackwell said it makes better sense to have the elected superintendent of public instruction helm the state board rather than an appointed member.

    "Rather than freezing parents and members of the public out of the process, it's appropriate to let them have a voice in who is making education policy for their children and grandchildren and their neighbors' children," Blackwell said.

    Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, questioned the fact that the amendment would remove appointment powers from the governor.

    "I'm afraid we're taking away from the governor, who is the state's top leader elected because of the policies, and education is always a governor candidate's top policy, typically," Morey said. "I think the governor looks across the state to these districts to find the best educational leaders he can, with the confirmation of the General Assembly. I'm very worried about taking away that responsibility of the governor and putting it into another partisan political race."

    The next stop for H.B. 17 is the House Judiciary Committee.
Go Back


Latest State and Federal

Raleigh, NC – Today, state House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) filed the N.C. Farmland and Military Protection Act, House Bill 463, to prohibit China, Russia, Iran and other foreign adversaries and state-controlled entities from purchasing agricultural land
The Chicago Blackhawks will not take the ice for Sunday’s warm-ups wearing pride-themed jerseys, team sources told The Athletic.
A resident doctor who was training in family medicine not only had an alleged huge cache of child porn, but he also allegedly recorded children as young as 6 years old using a camera hidden in a bracelet as he examined them.
A lead Republican investigator now claims several members of the Biden family are involved in shady business ventures abroad, sharing in the past 24 hours a larger headcount than previously known.
If Donald Trump were to be indicted for having a tawdry tryst with a trollop, he should probably plead guilty post haste. But the case brought against him by the Manhattan district attorney’s office is not about whether or not he cheated on his wife with porn actress Stormy Daniels
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched a new initiative with 18 other states on Thursday to fight back against President Joe Biden’s woke environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda.
The John Locke Foundation is proud to announce the recent hiring of Kelly Lester and Kaitlyn Shepherd to its research department.
The Department of Defense released video footage Thursday morning of the incident in which two Russian fighter jets harassed a U.S. military drone over international waters — leading to a collision and the complete loss of the drone.


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration has demanded that a liberal school system cut ties with allegedly Chinese Communist Party-linked groups, according to a letter obtained by The Daily Wire.
The N.C. Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling allowing for a new motocross training center in rural Davidson County.
A federal tech agency recently caught risking the nation’s cybersecurity by violating rules and lying in the name of “equity” is dominated by a cabal of perpetually triggered leftists obsessed with politics and pronouns, a Daily Wire investigation shows.
The number of January 6 prosecutions could double if a newly revealed prediction by the Justice Department comes true.
Onslow County incident highlights the need for reforms at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association
Fulton County investigators reportedly have an audio recording of former President Donald Trump pressuring then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R) to push for a special House session to overturn then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state during the 2020 election.
North Carolina’s administrative code is cluttered with over 1,000 rules whose authorizing statutes have been repealed
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential report this week that 2.5 tons of natural uranium have gone missing from a site in Libya that is not controlled by the government.
After a train carrying highly toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, President Joe Biden hopped on Air Force One, transferred to a train and went to … Ukraine.


Back to Top