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Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools elects James Barrett as only new member to board of education

James Barrett became the only new member elected to the board of education Tuesday night, but he said he is not completely satisfied with the seat he won.

Barrett was elected to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education’s only two-year unexpired seat, according to unofficial results announced Tuesday night.

Incumbents Mia Day Burroughs, Jamezetta Bedford, Annetta Streater and Mike Kelley were elected to the remaining four seats for four-year terms, placing in that order.

“It’s not really where I wanted to be because it’s a two-year term, and I’ll have to run again in two years,” Barrett said. “And it’s a lot of work.”

Kelley came in ahead of Barrett by only 28 votes, taking the final four-year seat on the board.

Bedford originally intended on running for the two-year seat, but was unable to do so because of a law that came to light mid-election and requires candidates to run together in the same pool.

However, she said she’s happy to have the four-year seat.

“It’s exciting, especially with our new superintendent,” Bedford said.

The board of education could face more budget cuts and school overpopulation in coming years.

“There are some things that keep me up at night,” Streater said. “But I am still encouraged.”

The current board recently approved a funding mechanism to begin construction on Elementary 11, a project set to start in March.

The school is meant to prevent elementary overcrowding and will be an ongoing project during the elected members’ terms.

“We wanted to get that open as soon as possible,” Burroughs said.

Bedford said plans are moving forward to have Elementary 11 open in 2013.

But she said she worries about the quality of education if there is more unprojected growth in the system before Elementary 11 is completed.

“If we grow again like we did this year, it’s going to be very tight,” Bedford said.

Staff writer Viviana Bonilla Lopez contributed to reporting.

Contact the City Editor at city@dailytarheel.com.

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