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This week in government: Board of Ed tries to pick up the pieces, Wilmington city council, and CFCC

Wilmington City Hall

This week the New Hanover County Board of Education resumes the meeting it recessed last week when the crowd became chaotic and unruly. Plus, the City of Wilmington will discuss $26 million in American Rescue Act funding and other issues — and Cape Fear Community College's Board of Trustees meets Thursday.

City of Wilmington

Monday morning at the City of Wilmington's agenda meeting, council members will discuss how to spend millions in federal money. Like the county, staff are expected to spread the funding over a range of issues.

Tuesday night, Wilmington City Council will hold its regular meeting. On the agenda: a contentious rezoning involving a carwash, a staff-backed proposal to increase the discretionary spending capacity of the city manager, and a proposal to spend $14,000 on VIP seats at the recent branded Live Oak Pavilion (a.k.a. the Riverfront Park Amphitheater, previously known as the North Waterfront Park venue).

Board of Education

Also on Tuesday, the Board of Education resumes its meeting from last week. Roughly 30 speakers who were to speak before the meeting was recessed have been offered the option to pre-record 2-minute statements. Then, the board will get into a packed agenda, which includes an evaluation tool for the Superintendent, and a host of local agreements and new policies. One of these policies, "5120 - Relationship with Law Enforcement," lays out how the school will handle questioning, detaining, or arrests of students; some advocates have expressed concern that the policy could allow SROs to question students without contacting their parents.

The board will also get a presentation on new K-12 social studies standards, handed down by the state. These standards have provoked pushback from conservative groups, includes those who have protested at recent board meetings; these groups have labeled several curriculum features as 'Critical Race Theory.' The district refutes this, saying CRT is not being taught at NHCS.

You can find a deep dive into the issue on a recent CoastLine: Critical Race Theory - what is it and why is it so controversial?

Cape Fear Community College and UNCW

The CFCC Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday afternoon. Discussion topics will include a new program, personnel and policy changes, and officers for the 2021-2022 year.

Late last week, UNCW's Board of Trustees met. On a positive note from the meeting, the long-sought funding for a new Isaac Bear Early College High School facility has a good chance of making it into this year's state budget. The Board also discussed the challenges of social justice — stay tuned for a more in-depth look at that issue this week.

Meeting info

You find agendas and watch the meetings live using the links below:

  • City of Wilmington agenda meeting, Monday, July 19, 8:30 a.m. Watch (via YouTube)
  • City of Wilmington regular meeting (agenda), Tuesday, July 20, 6:30 p.m. - Wilmington Convention Center, 10 Convention Center Drive, or watch via YouTube
  • New Hanover County Board of Education meeting (agenda), Tuesday, July 20, 5 p.m. - Online only via YouTube
  • Cape Fear Community College Board of Trustees, Thursday, July 22, 4 p.m. - Union Station (no online viewing)
Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature.