RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Democratic incumbent June Atkinson is returning as leader of North Carolina's public schools.
Atkinson was re-elected as state superintendent of public instruction over Republican John Tedesco. Tuesday. With 93 percent of the precincts reporting unofficial returns, Atkinson has 53 percent of the vote.
North Carolina is among a few states that elect their chief school administrators, but the office has virtually no power or management duties. The appointed state school board can define the superintendent's duties.
Atkinson is a former high school teacher who worked as the Department of Public Instruction's director of instructional services before retiring.
Tedesco works for a startup organization that advocates for education reforms sought by conservatives. He contends he would have the political savvy to work with legislators on school issues.