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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

CMS board hosts forum on North Carolina charter school legislation
District opposes HB514, which heads to Senate
 
Published Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:15 pm
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will hold a town hall meeting next week on a bill that would allow Matthews and Mint Hill to operate charter schools.

The May 2 forum will be held at Providence High School, 1800 Pineville-Matthews Road, from 7-8:30 p.m.


HB514, sponsored by Rep. Bill Brawley, a Matthews Republican, was approved by the state House last year. The bill would allow the towns to create charter schools and as well as taxing authority to fund them. The Senate will take up the legislation May 16 when they return to Raleigh for the General Assembly’s short session.

“We want to share information about the potential impact HB514 could have on students and families in these towns,” CMS board Chair Mary McCray said in a statement.

The school district opposes HB514, which CMS leaders say will burden Matthews and Mint Hill with extra taxes as well as further segregate Mecklenburg’s public schools. The bill would allow enrollment by lottery, which would potentially leave some students locked out although priority is given to local families. CMS also criticized the bill as potentially harmful to academics and education choice for students.

“In addition to hearing from the citizens of Matthews and Mint Hill, we want to share our concerns about HB514 with them,” McCray said. “We need more collaborative time to review what this bill really does – how it will affect families and how it will affect CMS as a whole.”

CMS sent a digital invitation to residents in both towns and McCray said the board wants to hear from families directly affected by HB514. Officials in both towns have declined calls by the school district to work together on student assignments, which they say CMS hasn’t done enough to guarantee local options.

“We would like to hear directly from the citizens of Matthews and Mint Hill about their concerns,” she said. “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools serves all of Mecklenburg County and we want to be responsive to the students and families who choose public schools.”

Matthews commissioners voted 4-3 vote on April 23 to support the bill, which is endorsed by Mayor Paul Bailey, a former CMS board member. Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon opposes it.
 
 

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