Patrick Rhodes

OC Schools Making Progress In Superintendent Search

ORANGE COUNTY – The search continues for the next superintendent of the Orange County School System. Donna Coffey, Chair of the Board of Education, says Dr. Del Burns was named as the interim superintendent in July. “We needed to give ourselves enough time to get qualified applicants in and go through all of the resumes, look at them, and choose who we wanted to interview,” Coffey says. Burns served as the superintendent for the Wake County Public School System from 2006 to 2010. Coffey says Burns will remain in the position until a permanent hire is found. “Our original...

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School Officials Decry General Assembly’s “Bad Ideas”

HILLSBOROUGH- School leaders say next year’s budget crunch is made worse by what they call “bad ideas” coming out of the General Assembly. Officials from both the Orange County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school districts told county commissioners on Tuesday that they are deeply worried about the impact state bills will have on local school budgets and the quality of instruction. Orange County Schools Superintendent Patrick Rhodes said he’s dismayed by much of the legislation working its way through the legislature. “I have never seen this level of legislative activity associated with public schools,” said Rhodes. “Much of it is hurtful, much of it opposed by the North Carolina School Boards Association, much of it opposed by the principals association and the teachers association, because it truly is bad ideas.” Those ideas include a wide variety of proposals, from expanding the reach of charter schools to introducing school voucher programs. Rhodes said a push to open a virtual charter school could attract many local students who are currently home-schooled. “If a virtual charter is established, we would be required to pay the charter school. It would be a for-profit charter and one of them is on the table to start up this fall,” said Rhodes. “Assume that half of those 667 students sign up for the virtual charter, that would be, across the two systems, a drop of a million in...

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