Pending legislation would remove a Guilford County Board of Education member from office.

The District 3 school board seat has been the center of a months-long controversy going back to December. 

It started with a Republican board member resigning, leaving it up to the county GOP to recommend his replacement. But the school board rejected the conservative pick, Guilford County Schools Teacher Michael Logan, several times citing concerns about racial prejudice.

That’s when Republican lawmakers first stepped in, passing a law in March aimed at forcing Logan’s appointment. But in April, the school board approved its own pick, Republican Bill Goebel, instead.  

New language in Senate Bill 9, would remove him. State Rep. Jon Hardister, who was behind the first law, explained the legislation during a House session last week. 

“If there's a partisan board, and a member resigns, it should be the political party that held that seat that appoints the nominee to fill that vacancy," Hardister said. "This goes back square one, so the party has the ability to do that, and the school board has the ability to comply with the laws.”

The bill outlines the process for filling vacancies on the school board, but it also states that the term of office of any individual appointed by the board to fill a vacancy between last December and once this measure is passed, shall expire. That only applies to Goebel. 

State Rep. Amos Quick called for that language to be removed from the bill.

“Let's stop moving the goalposts on this and let the Guilford County Board of Education get down to the business of educating the third largest school system in our state," Quick said.

The bill, including the section that would remove Goebel, passed in the House. It is now in the Committee on Rules and Operations for the Senate.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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