Political Notebook: Rowan legislators discuss first year of ‘renewal’ school system

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 7, 2019

State Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, says everyone in the legislature is watching Rowan County to see the outcome of the “renewal” school initiative, which gives individual schools in the district flexibility with curriculum, budget, personnel, calendar and scheduling.

In its second year, both Ford and Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, are giving the “renewal” system some time to get going before evaluating whether it is working or not. But the two are divided about when they think they will know if the effort is successful.

Warren says he is going along with Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Lynn Moody’s timeline of five years.

“I wish them a lot of success, but I’m not putting any pressure on them,” Warren said. “I have no expectations for this year or next year. I’m taking Dr. Moody for her word it’s going to be a five-year program. I think it’s wrong for anybody to put pressure on the teachers and the administration to push for results if they’re not directly involved in that process.”

Ford says it’s too soon to say whether “renewal” is for the best way to go.

“Next year is the first year we will look at it and say this is working or it’s not, in my opinion,” Ford said. “I know some of them think that it’s going to take the five years. I think we’ll know before then.”

Ford says the feedback he has gotten is most people seem to love “renewal.” Warren said many traditional schools have asked for the latitude that is given to charter schools, and now RSS has received that.

Warren says Rowan-Salisbury Schools may be setting the blueprint for the rest of the state.

Ford says eyes are on the county and he believes legislators will see a success story.

“Everybody is watching Rowan, and so if it goes well, it will expand across the state without a doubt,” Ford said. “If it doesn’t, then nobody wants to be in Rowan. I believe it will. The superintendent says it will, and I trust her.”

Rowan County Democrats host breakfast with municipal candidates

The Rowan County Democratic Party will host a breakfast at 9:45 a.m. Saturday featuring candidates for municipal office.

The breakfast will be at the party headquarters at 1504 W. Innes St.

All Democrats who are running for town or city councils in Rowan County are invited to come speak.

Those attending are asked to bring a dish to share and a $10 donation for the Rowan Democratic Party.

Election Day for municipal elections is Nov. 5.

Ed Norvell appointed to North Carolina Arts Council

Gov. Roy Cooper announced appointments to boards and commissions across the state Thursday, including appointing Ed Norvell to the North Carolina Arts Council.

Norvell, of Salisbury, is an at-large member of the council.

“State boards and commissions make critical decisions about the lives of North Carolinians every day,” Gov. Cooper said. “I appreciate these appointees for their service and helping our state move forward.”

Norvell is a retired attorney who focused on land trusts.

Other appointees to the Arts Council include Eric Lindstrom, of Fayetteville; David Robinson, of Spring Hope; Gina Esquivel, of Lincolnton; Henry Walston, of Wilson; Margaret Emory Haynes, of Wilmington; DeWayne Barton, of Asheville; and Patrick Torres, of Raleigh.

Salisbury’s Charlie Brown, the chief District Court judge of Rowan County, was appointed to the Governor’s Crime Commission.

Rep. Warren to host campaign kickoff dinner

State Rep. Harry Warren, R-33, will host a campaign kickoff dinner for his re-election at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Stag & Doe Restaurant and Tavern in China Grove.

Warren has served five terms in the N.C. House.

He will be joined by state Sen. Carl Ford, R-33; House Majority Leader John Bell; House Republican Conference Leader Rep. John Szoka; and Rep. Julia Howard.

Those interested in attending should contact Todd Batchelor at 919-818-4370 or toddforharrywarren@yahoo.com.