CMS holds hearing on school boundary changes in southern Meck County

·2 min read

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools held a public hearing Tuesday night on a proposal to change district boundaries in south Charlotte. The 6 p.m. meeting was expected to last well into the night with 106 people who signed up to speak.

“To the board and CMS staff, thank you for hearing us about the importance of home-to-school distance for Olde Providence Elementary School,” said parent Scott Salem.

People were given two minutes each.

Boundaries for four CMS high schools — Ardrey Kell, Myers Park, Providence, and South Mecklenburg — will all change when the relief high school opens in August 2024.

Parent Aaron Putnam said, “230 neighbors have signed a petition and sent in feedback forms we’ve gathered together in support of the common-sense rezoning for our area.”

School officials held a community engagement session last month regarding the second draft map showing how boundary changes would be set by a new high, middle, and elementary school in the southern part of the county.

Most of the concerns parents expressed were about how the socioeconomic status of schools that might be impacted.

“CMS was once a national model for diversity and inclusion,” parent Shawn Bowers said “These maps tell a different story. One I don’t want our district wants to be known for

Students who will be juniors or seniors in the 2024 to 2025 school year can choose to stay at their current school, but they won’t be given a bus route.

“I believe this plan to relieve three overcrowded high schools could have been much simpler but instead Pandora’s Box was opened and chaos ensued,” parent Tiffany Hunt said.

CMS officials said they considered things, such as home-to-school distance, keeping neighborhoods together, the impact on a school’s socioeconomic diversity, and reducing the number of students per classroom.

However, many parents remain skeptical.


The changes would impact schools in south Charlotte.
The changes would impact schools in south Charlotte.

CMS Executive Director for Facilities and Real Estate Planning Dennis Lacaria said staff took more than 21,000 survey responses on draft one when coming up with the basis for draft two. A vote is expected on June 6.

“SES diversity primarily and then utilization because in the other scenario, we made some determinations where some of the schools were a little more underutilized,” Lacaria said.

Some supported the proposal.

“We support the superintendent’s recommendation as-is,” parent Krisi Longley-Dovel said. “Thank you for balancing SES across the schools and for the major improvements at the middle school level.”

You can get a better look at the full plan from CMS by clicking here.

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