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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Sandra Leigh, Democratic Candidate for NHC Board of Education: Busing Is The Right Thing To Do

Sandra Leigh
Sandra Leigh (D) is running for a first term on New Hanover County's Board of Education.

Sandra Leigh is one of three Democrats running for a seat on New Hanover County’s Board of Education.  If elected, it would be her first time holding elected office.  As a relative newcomer to Wilmington, the retired third-grade teacher and principal says she’d like to institute universal pre-school.           

Early childhood education is critical, according to Board of Education Candidate Sandra Leigh, because by third grade in North Carolina, testing establishes a child’s trajectory.  Also important to her:  the de-segregation of New Hanover County Public Schools through redistricting.

"There is a population in the city that is unconscionably left behind and that’s not right.  We have to change that.  We have to change the attendance area of our schools…  We cannot leave those six schools languishing behind and say we’re a progressive city that wants to attract families and businesses to Wilmington and New Hanover County.  We can’t do it."

Those failing schools she refers to are high-poverty, largely-minority student populations.  Leigh says busing children in such a geographically small county would not be difficult.  But, she says, it does take finding the political will. 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.