Superintendent Wirt Resigns

Last night Superintendent Wirt announced his resignation at the Orange County Board of Education meeting, effective June 30 (press link). This is an unexpected development, and it gives our May 9 Assembly even greater urgency.

Now, more than ever, we need your support. Please read below for important background to this announcement, and to learn how you can help us take effective action on May 9. 

Background 

Less than two weeks ago Dr. Wirt joined Orange County Board of Education Chair Brenda Stephens and Vice Chair Sarah Smylie at Justice United's Countywide Leaders Meeting to hear our reactions to strategies that they have developed to address concerns on the lack of teacher diversity and the need for more front office, bi-lingual staff within Orange County Schools. Read the report from our meeting here.

These strategies have the potential to strengthen the school system's hiring pipeline sufficient to increase teacher diversity and bi-lingual staff. However, in order for this to become a reality the Orange County Board of County Commissioners must first approve a per pupil funding increase requested by Orange County Schools which will pay for these initiatives. 

Orange County will hold two public budget hearings the week following our Assembly on May 14 and May 16. This is our opportunity to show up and support the OCS funding request for these hiring strategies. 

Justice United has invited Board Chair Stephens and Vice Chair Smylie to attend our May 9 Assembly to brief our membership on these strategies. Following their presentation we will caucus to pledge support for their budget request. 

Dr. Wirt's unexpected resignation has given our Assembly greater urgency. Now is the time to act to get this deal funded, before we encounter the inevitable delays associated with the Superintendent's transition.  

How You Can Help

Please follow these three steps to help us take action to address this key community issue: 

1) Confirm your attendance today for our May 9 Assembly

2) Recruit others from your institution to attend. Our goal is to deliver 300 members to this action. Turnout pledges from your institution are available here for reference

3) RSVP to attend one or both of the public budget hearings to support the Orange County Schools budget requestWe will discuss this request at our May 9 Assembly. 

Public Budget Hearing 1, May 14, 7:00 PM, Whitted Building, Hillsborough

Public Budget Hearing 2, May 16, 7:00 PM, Southern Human Services Center, Chapel Hill

Additional Resources: 

Bi-lingual assembly flyer. Download and distribute within your community.

Orange County Schools Goals for Hiring and Diversity (presented to JU on 4/11/19)

Questions? Email Justice United Organizer Devin Ross at devin@ocjusticeunited.org, or text/call at 919 358 5828.