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2 Of Governor’s 3 Nominees For State Education Board Rejected By General Assembly In Joint Session

The House and Senate met in a joint session this afternoon and took an almost unprecedented action to reject confirmation of two of the three individuals Governor Roy Cooper had appointed last spring to serve on the State Board of Education. The Governor had made the appointments to fill terms of three members that expired March 31, 2017, but the General Assembly had not met in joint session to vote on the confirmations as required until today.

The two chambers, meeting jointly on the House floor at 3:30 p.m., debated the merit of all three nominees that included:

  • Reappointment of current Board member Reginald Kenan to represent the Southeast District,
  • Appointment of Sandra Byrd to represent the Western District to replace Wayne McDevitt, and
  • Appointment of J.B. Buxton as an at-large member to replace Patricia Willoughby.

The legislators voted to confirm Mr. Kenan’s appointment, at the urging of Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin), and he now will serve a new term on the State Board of Education that will expire March 31, 2025.

Lawmakers in their joint session voted 107-56 to reject Ms. Byrd’s appointment and 98-64 to reject Mr. Buxton’s appointment, after Republican lawmakers urged their colleagues to take that action.

It is not known at this time what next steps will occur in filling these seats on the State Board of Education.