Potential changes to the way Buncombe County elects members of the County’s school board are on the horizon, and the Board of Commissioners is asking North Carolina legislators to vote against those proposed changes. As it stands, the Buncombe County School Board has seven members: six from each district and one at-large member with elections allowing voters to cast a ballot for all members regardless of their home address. The proposed change would limit voters to choosing candidates from their school district and the at-large member.
“[Voters] would only be able to vote for a small percentage of the people making recommendations on critical decisions regarding the vital role of governing public schools in Buncombe County,” said Commission Chair Brownie Newman, who also called it “a step in the wrong direction.”
On Oct. 5, Commissioners approved a resolution stating its opposition to modifying elections. The resolution states: “For many decades, all of the qualified voters who live within the Buncombe County School Administrative Unit have been able vote for all of the candidates for membership on the Buncombe County Board of Education at large regardless of the district within which the voters reside, creating accountability for decision making and investment of taxpayer dollars; and the Buncombe County Board of Education has not requested a change of elections which would restrict the ability of voters to only vote for two of the seven positions on the school board.”
While the resolution is nonbinding, a copy will be sent to state legislators and Governor Roy Cooper. You can read the resolution in its entirety here.