Local/State

Governor signs her first bill into law

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Governor Beverly Perdue signed her first bill into law Wednesday.

The bill allows Bill Harrison to lead the public school system and to serve on the State Board of Education.

According to Perdue, the position will mean more accountability for North Carolina schools. She says also hopes the bill will mean better performance from students.

Bill 98 allows the Governor's CEO of education to serve as the chairman of the State Board of Education. Harrison formerly served as superintendent in Cumberland and Orange counties.

Harrison says the bill fixes the school system's structure. "I think it's a system issue," he said. "I don't want people to think it's a people issue. And it's a structural issue. And the Governor has fixed the structure."

The full board must vote Harrison in to make the appointment official. That vote is scheduled for Thursday.

The bill does not clarify the role of the state superintendent of public instruction. That position is held by June Atkinson.

Atkinson has been elected twice in statewide elections, but it is still unclear what her role is versus the role Harrison will play.

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