Political Leadership

Bureaucrats and failed political agendas have controlled North Carolina’s education system for too long. In 2011, after back-to-back years with thousands of North Carolina teachers losing their jobs, a Republican controlled General Assembly was sworn into office for the first time since Reconstruction in the late 1800’s.  The Perdue/Atkinson administration ramped up political gamesmanship in the name of education and set a divisive tone with our new leaders. Most political experts, alert to new redistricting maps, believe that a Republican majority will hold again after the 2012 elections, regardless of what happens at the national level.

In this election, candidates on both sides of the aisle will have to be weighed against their ability to effectively work with the next Governor, Pat McCrory, and the General Assembly in order to build upon what works and improve what does not in education. If we are to produce results for our children and protect our teachers and classrooms we will need leaders who can effectively work with our General Assembly.  

An entrenched incumbent seeking a third term, June Atkinson has been with the Department of Public Instruction since 1976. While we respect Ms. Atkinson, Einstein reminded us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. We believe there is strong value in bringing in a different set of eyes to DPI. We think their is strong value in bringing in a parent of school aged children to DPI and a local education leader who understands the burden of Raleigh's education bureaucracy on our classrooms across NC.

While Ms. Atkinson has been comfortably nested in the Department of Public Instruction(DPI) bureaucracy for the past three-and-a-half decades, her relations with the outside world have been strained at best.  She was considered so ineffective by the state school board and a governor from her own party that they attempted to replace her with an appointed official (which was only resolved after an expense lawsuit).  She had wasted milllions at DPI on padded travel accounts, raises for top ranking bureaucrats, and more, while teachers across were told to buy their own supplies. She has spent much of the past two years gratuitously bashing the General Assembly, further alienating herself and limiting her effectiveness.

As Vice Chairman of the Wake County Schools System, and chairman of several key committees, John Tedesco has had to be responsible for a budget of $1.5 billion and 18,000 employees, along with over 10% of the state’s entire student body population. This is nearly four times the budget at the Department of Public Instruction that the State Superintendent deals with. John has worked closely with members of our state leadership and produced positive impact in various roles. John Tedesco is the only candidate provide accountability, leadership, and proven results to such scope and scale.  

Let's end divisive partisans attempt to accuse our new state leadership of attempting to “destroy” public education anytime reforms are discussed. When we elect leaders like John Tedesco to work with our state officials we will see a clear vision to fix and improve our educational systems for all children in North Carolina.