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Changes to Wake school board nears passage

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The General Assembly is close to changing how voters choose the leaders of North Carolina's largest school system, which has been mired in partisanship in recent years.

The Republican-controlled House voted 70-42 on Monday night to redraw lines for the nine-member Wake County school board and move its elections from odd-numbered to even-numbered years in 2016. Voters now only elect their district's representative. The bill would turn two seats into regional posts.

Republicans proposing the changes say they would boost turnout for the elections and let voters choose two members, not one.

House Democrats said the changes would confuse voters with the second redistricting this decade and put politics above educating children.

Three Republicans voted against the bill and no Democrats voted for it.

Only one more Senate vote is needed for the changes to become law.

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