State Lawmakers Tinkering in Local Government, Again

RALEIGH, N.C. -- State lawmakers are tinkering with local politics again. This time, they're trying to shrink the Rockingham County School board.

Why?

Tuesday night the House passed a bill to shrink the Rockingham County Board of Education over four years from eleven members to seven members.

It would also require elected officials to run on party affiliation.

Why would state lawmakers care about the size of the Rockingham County School board?

Political scientist Jason Husser said it's bizarre to see lawmakers target specific communities. "Whenever you see that, and these aren't broad brushstrokes across the board, even changes, you do have to ask the question, is this due to some more partisan reason than a real policy justification?"

The possible reason? Husser said it's easier to pass statewide legislation and policies when you have everyone on board.

Husser sees similarities with state lawmaker efforts to change the Greensboro City Council.

They're political moves we might not ever know the real reason behind. "It would be surprising to me to get a lawmaker to say, 'well we did this because we really didn't like the Democrats in this community and we're a bunch of Republicans.' Though if you go just a little under the surface, it certainly seems that way," said Husser.

The bill must still pass the Senate and the Governor. If it does, voters will decide whether to shrink the board in a referendum.


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