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New Hanover County Board of Education town hall: Context, analysis, and fact-checking

Our town hall featured questions for the eight candidates — four Republicans and four Democrats — running for four open seats on the New Hanover County Board of Education. On this episode, we unpack their responses to everything from evaluating the performance of superintendent Charles Foust to funding pay raises for teachers and staff to serious, and sometimes specious, allegations about what’s going on in the district.

The forum, moderated by WECT's Jon Evans, posed three types of questions, including 'umbrella' questions for all candidates to answer, and individualized questions for specific candidates generated from the three newsrooms and from the audience and public. Reporters Rachel Keith (WHQR), Michael Praats (WECT), and Brenna Flanagan posed those candidate-specific questions.

Rachel Keith joins us for this episode to provide analysis and context to the candidates' responses.

Below: Watch the town hall


Editor's note: This podcast has been corrected to clarify the occupations of candidates Melissa Mason and Pat Bradford.

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. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR