John Tedesco, the Republican nominee for state schools superintendent, will be in Scotland County today to talk about why he should be elected in November.
Tedesco will visit the Scotland County Republican Headquarters in Laurinburg at 2 p.m. Visits are also planned today for Lumberton and Fayetteville.
The candidate said the visit is part of a statewide tour to talk about his best to improve schools. The 37 year old serves on the Wake County Board of Education, a position he has held since 2009.
“I want to sit with residents there for about an hour and talk about how we can make our school better,” Tedesco said. “All the answers can’t come from Raleigh and certainly shouldn’t be coming from Washington.”
Tedesco said he wants to change the culture at the state Department of Public Instruction.
“Education is a state’s rights issue, so while we can make our state agency leaner, it also needs to be strong enough to support local districts and serve as a firewall for encroaching federal agendas that may not be right for North Carolina,” he said on his website.
Tedesco said he differs from his Democratic opponent June Atkinson on the role DPI plays in education. Atkinson has been the state education superintendent for the last eight years. She has worked for the state school system since 1976.
“The superintendent serves as the chief administrator to DPI” he said. “Entrenched incumbents tied to the status quo will not be able to lead us past the problems they created.”
Tedesco said that there are great opportunities to reduce bureaucracy, increase efficiencies, and realign millions of dollars of limited tax resources back into classrooms and local districts.
“If I do win this race, I will be back to Scotland County again and again,” Tedesco said. “You can’t lead on the issue of education from Raleigh. It has to be done from the local level. We need a superintendent who will empower and support local school districts.”
Tedesco lives in Garner with his wife and son. He is president of the N.C. Center for Education Reform, the chief development officer for Big Brothers - Big Sisters and the developer of the N.C. Mentoring Children of Prisoners Initiative.
Tedesco has attracted nation headlines for his work trying to eliminate forced busing in Wake County and provide parents with a choice of where to send their children..