At the recommendation of the county board’s Environment & Energy Stewardship Subcommittee, which includes board Chair Brownie Newman along with Commissioners Parker Sloan and Terri Wells, members will vote on whether to commit to conserving 20% of Buncombe’s total acreage by 2030.
Requests outlined by Buncombe County Schools Superintendent Tony Baldwin and Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman sought county government spending increases of up to $27.9 million, representing a nearly 32% jump from the county’s current contribution.
“We need new blood on the school board.”
Candidates in the Asheville City Board of Education 2022 primary race share their positions with Xpress.
Having lived in Asheville for over 30 years, Marta Alcalá-Williams says it was a unique experience to hear others community leaders highlight her body of work. “Sometimes when you’re in it, you don’t have time to see it,” she says. “That was a very humbling experience.”
The Asheville City Board of Education asked attorney Chris Campbell to speak on the desegregation order’s history and legal status during a Jan. 28 meeting. While the board took no action, Chair James Carter indicated that members would consider asking the court to change or end the order in the coming months.
On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to award Haywood Street Community Development a $749,000 grant toward construction of a 45-unit project in the West End/Clingman Avenue neighborhood. Asheville City Council has already contributed $296,000 toward the project.
“It’s uncomfortable, inhibits learning and impairs social interaction and growth (consider how many of your favorite memories involve people’s faces — all of them?).”
“To prevent our community from continuing to fail our Black youths, white parents should demand that barriers to opportunities for Black youths are removed, and policies are implemented with an intentional focus on racial equity.”
“Hopefully, all the dedication, caring, support and love nurtured by the Arthur Edington Center will help these wonderful youngsters survive the racism, crime, drugs and poverty that they encounter almost daily and go on to become professionals, businesspeople and/or social and community workers.”
“As if our city needed one more example of citizen voices being sidelined, on Aug. 24, Asheville City Council pushed through the nomination of George Sieburg for the Asheville City Board of Education just hours after the vacancy was known to anyone.”
While the statistics are bleak and the systemic obstacles are many, local individuals and community-based organizations are pursuing their own approaches to tackling long-standing inequities among students at Asheville City Schools.
Critical race theory, a set of ideas about the ways race influences society, drew 13 commenters at a June 3 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Education. Officials at both the county and Asheville city school systems say they do not explicitly teach CRT and encourage students to develop their own judgments.
“Now ACS is proposing a turn away from integration without offering any tangible reason for the change.”
“The school nutrition director was prohibited from implementing, completing and/or fulfilling various compliance requirements in the non-school programs,” notes a report compiled by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction regarding Asheville City Schools.
“The bloated Asheville City Schools needs to be heavily doctored and combined into Buncombe County Schools for the desired all-one effect.”
“It is past time to significantly update or eliminate the two-tiered enrollment system and officially recognize and figure out transportation for “out-of-district” students who live in Asheville Housing Authority projects and economically depressed areas in the city of Asheville that are locked out of the legacy district boundaries.”
If the vote takes place as planned, it would mark the second consecutive year in which the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the budget immediately after the public hearing. Last year, Chair Brownie Newman noted that the board has historically allowed some time between the hearing and the vote to consider resident input.
The potential closure and sale of the APS campus had drawn intense community pushback since being initially recommended as a cost-saving measure by Superintendent Gene Freeman on Dec. 7.