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Cris Mulder appointed to Wake County school board advisory council

Cris Mulder is back serving the Wake County school system, but this time it’s in a volunteer position.

On Tuesday, the Wake County school board appointed Mulder to serve on the District 7 board advisory council. Mulder was nominated by District 7 school board member Deborah Prickett to serve on a body that gives her advice and reviews issues for her.

Mulder had been the school system’s chief of family and community engagement, aka head of communications, until February. She left to become deputy secretary of communications for the state Department of Transportation.

National Journal looks at Raleigh and Wake County school bond issue

The National Journal is focusing on Raleigh for its latest “America 360”series looking at “forward-thinking local economies.”

The focus of its first article Monday is on next month’s $810 million Wake County school construction bond referendum. The magazine bills itself as “Washington’s premier source of nonpartisan insight on politics and policy,” but the article is an attack on Republicans.

One hint of the tone of the piece is the headline: “The GOP Plan to Sabotage Raleigh's Successful Growth.”

Wake Commissioner Tony Gurley on defeat of school construction bill

Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley is attributing “jealousy” and unexpected defections among state House Republicans for the defeat of a bill that would have changed who controls school construction.

Wake GOP commissioners had asked for state legislation that would have turned authority for school construction away from the school board and over to the county. After starting as a statewide bill, the state Senate approved a version that only included Wake and a handful of other counties.

After that bill stalled in the House, a new bill affecting only Wake was approved by the Senate. But the vote to approve it in the House was defeated near the end of the session in July as a number of Republican legislators opposed the bill.

State Rep. Paul Stam backing Wake County school bond referendum

One of the top Republican lawmakers in the state is supporting this fall’s $810 million Wake County school bond referendum.

State House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, said Thursday he supports the bond. His district includes some of the fastest-growing areas in Wake that would get new school seats under the bond issue.

Stam said he wanted to make it clear that not all Republicans in Wake are against the bond referendum.

Joking about the school naming fight in Wake County

The controversy over the Wake County school board renaming West Apex High School as Apex Friendship High School made its way into today’s State Board of Education meeting.

It came up because an applicant seeking permission to open in 2014 wants to be called West Charlotte Charter High School. Some state board members were concerned that it might be confusing to parents because there’s an existing school called West Charlotte High School.

As board members talked about requiring the charter applicant to get a name change, State Board Chairman Bill Cobey noted how he had been reading in newspapers about a fight over school names. While he didn’t bring up Wake by name, there was no doubt about what he was discussing.

“Let’s not go to naming schools, please,” Cobey said to laughs from the crowd.

More fallout over heated Wake County schools exchange

The controversy over the heated exchange Thursday between Wake County school board member Jim Martin and state Sen. Neal Hunt isn't going away.

Martin contends he wasn't acting unprofessionally when he confronted Hunt in the hallway of the Legislative Office Building. Martin submitted this letter to the editor to explain the exchange.

In a related matter, Tom Fetzer charges that Martin and school board member Susan Evans acted in a threatening and harassing manner when they confronted Hunt.

Action on Wake County school construction bill not expected until next week

It could be next week before the state House takes up a bill that would allow the commissioners in Wake County and several other counties to take control of school construction.

House Rules Committee Chairman Tim Moore said Tuesday that he's not been asked yet by Sen. Neal Hunt to take up Senate Bill 236. Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, said he doesn't anticipate considering the bill until next week.

Moore said he expects that Hunt, a Raleigh Republican, is trying to firm up support among the GOP Caucus before asking for action on the bill. The House Government Committee rejected the bill last week because of the opposition of some Republican legislators, prompting the full House to move the bill to the Rules Committee.

House committee to review Wake County school construction bill

The bill that would allow the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take over school construction from the school board will be heard Thursday in a House Committee.

The House Government Committee will review Senate Bill 236, which would let the commissioners in nine counties take over school construction. It would allow those county commissioners to do everything from locating schools to building, maintaining and renovating the buildings.

The bill, which was approved in May by the Senate, is opposed by The Wake school board but backed by the Wake commissioners. The bill originally would have applied to all 100 counties.

The committee meeting will be at 10 a.m. in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building. A favorable committee recommendation could put the bill, which doesn't require the signature of Gov. Pat McCrory, on fast track for adoption next week.

Morning Memo: Education, voter ID dominate agenda; McCrory nears 100 days

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: A controversial voter ID measure gets a double billing Wednesday, appearing in a 1 p.m. House Election Committe meeting for discussion only and a 4 p.m. public hearing. A lawyer from the Indiana Secretary of State's Office and the N.C. NAACP's William Barber will present at the earlier meeting. The House will also unveil a major education bill at a 2 p.m. press conference, just hours after a Senate panel considers President Pro Tem Phil Berger's own overhaul plan at a 10 a.m.

Senate committees will also consider bills to increase the speed limit on some highways to 75 mph and provide tax money to the Carolina Panthers for stadium renovations. Gov. Pat McCrory will attend a private reception for the N.C. Homebuilders Association at 5 p.m. The group is advancing two controversial measures this session to limit local control of inspections and design standards for homes that are angering counties and cities. Wonder how Mayor Pat would have reacted to the legislation?

McCRORY'S FIRST 100 DAYS: The governor is nearing the 100-day mark of his term -- a benchmark that means little but will generate a media extravaganza. McCrory is sitting down with various media outlets this week, about 10 minutes at a time, to discuss his accomplishments. WRAL-TV is the first with an interview. Check it out here. 

***Good morning and thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. More North Carolina political news and analysis below.***

Morning Memo: Emails show Tata's troubles as former Wake education chief

TATA'S TUMULTOUS TENURE AS SCHOOLS CHIEF REVEALED: Newly released email shows that former Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata -- and now state Transportation Secretary -- spent his final month in office surrounded by growing distress and concern from school board members and parents over his handling of the school bus problems and student assignment. More than 3,400 pages of email released this week as part of a public records request by news media organizations, including The News & Observer, show how much the bus fiasco affecting thousands of families was a daily concern during the first month of school. (More on this story below.)

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: A bill to limit local governments from requiring inspections of homes in some instances -- a measure that is opposed by environmental groups -- is on the House calendar. The House will also consider legislation to make it a felony for a parent to fail to report a missing child, dubbed Caylee's Law after the Caylee Anthony case, in which the 2-year-old was found dead and her mother didn't report her missing for a month. At 10 a.m., Senate committee will consider (for discussion only) a midwife bill and a measure to put teeth in the state's public records law. On the Senate floor later in the day, the "red route" bill gets a final vote with toll road language attached. Gov. Pat McCrory is making an economic development announcement in Raleigh at 1 p.m.

***Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Click below more more North Carolina political news and analysis. Send tips and news to dome@newsobserver.com.***

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