Anne McLaurin | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Anne McLaurin

Candidate for Wake County Board of Education District 5


Name as it appears on the ballot: Anne McLaurin
Full legal name, if different: Anne Norris McLaurin
Date of birth: January 4, 1948
Home address: 324 South Boylan Ave., Raleigh, NC 27603
Mailing address, if different from home: Same as above
Campaign Web site: NA
Occupation & employer: Consulting physician, SAS Healthcare
Center, SAS Institute
Home phone: 919-833-8756
Work phone: 919-531-4625
Cell phone: 919-334-8975

1. If elected, what are your top priorities for the school board?

  1. Engage the Western Wake families to find solutions for the overcrowding of their schools.
  2. Improve relations with the County Commissioners.
  3. Reduce the number of dropouts.
  4. Improve nutrition and physical education in the schools.

2. What is there in your record as a public official or other experience—e.g., career, community service—that demonstrates your ability to be effective as a board member? Please be as specific as possible about the relevance of your accomplishments to your goals for the board.

I have been a practicing family physician in Wake County for twenty-nine years. Having worked in different communities across the County, I am aware of the strengths and challenges facing the students and their families and the importance of every child receiving a good education. I have served on community boards, including Wake Up for Children and CASA (a housing program for adults and families with mental illnesses). I am a hard worker and a good listener.

3. The Independent’s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to the board help further that goal?

I am committed to ensuring that every child in the County receives a quality education.

4. Wake schools are known for a commitment to economic diversity, but the goal of having no more than 40 percent of kids eligible for free and reduced meal plans in any school is slipping. Do you think the board should be more rigorous about adhering to its diversity goal? Less rigorous? Or is it getting things about right?

While I recognize that there are challenges in maintaining economic diversity as the County develops, I remain committed to this goal. Economic diversity within each school has been shown to benefit both students and the county.

5. With 7,000-8,000 new students a year and money short, the board adopted a policy of making every new elementary school a year-round school. Do you support that policy? Or, if not, what alternatives would you support to meet the enrollment crunch?

I believe there are alternatives to this policy. The Board has adopted this policy for financial reasons. Pursuing other sources of revenue may be one solution. I am also committed to listening to affected communities and hearing their suggested solutions

6. How’s the board handling the annual reassignment issue, in your opinion?

Reassignment is a result of growth and the opening of new schools. It is one solution for maintaining economic diversity and preventing overcrowding. I support forming a community advisory board to assist the School Board with this issue.

7. Some board members have spoken out in favor of impact fees on new development in Wake County or, alternatively, an Adequate Public Facilities ordinance that would limit residential growth to available school slots. Do you support either idea or both?

I support impact fees. Now that the County may levy a transfer tax, I would also support that.

8. The Wake Commissioners estimate that $3 billion to $4 billion in additional school bond issues will be needed over the next eight years. But bonds don’t happen unless the school board asks. As a board member, can you foresee supporting bond issues of that magnitude? Why or why not?

I would support a bond of that size if the school system needed it. I am hopeful that additional revenue sources would reduce the need for that size bond.

9. The school board’s goal of having 95 percent of all students achieving at grade level seems to be just out of reach, with past gains now halted. What’s your view of this goal, and how (or whether) to try to reach it?

This is an important goal. Maintaining economic diversity and year-round schools are tools we can use to achieve this goal.

10. What steps, if any, would you advocate to improve educational outcomes for at-risk students and to reduce dropout rates?

Economic diversity and year-round schools are part of the solution. After-school and summer programs are also important. In addition, I would pursue partnerships with community centers that offer educational and physical fitness programs. Healthy children are better students.

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