Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Suburban secession talk returns

A group of north and south suburban residents have launched a petition asking the state legislature to carve Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools into three districts: North, south and central.

The group calling itself SPARK Educational Performances unveiled the plan at a Tuesday night meeting of frustrated south suburbanites that drew about 30 people to talk about schools and other issues. Tom Davis, a Huntersville resident who has served on several education advisory boards and is now running for the state House, made the pitch.

"Everybody's got burning issues with CMS," he said. He was joined by Christine Mast,  a CMS parent from Huntersville who has been vocal about CMS issues recently,  and Scott Babbidge, a self-described "south Mecklenburg troublemaker" who,  like Davis,  filed to run for school board last year but later withdrew.

The night before,  more than 100 people came to the Matthews Town Hall to meet newly appointed District 6 school board member Amelia Stinson-Wesley.  Many of them voiced a sense that suburban schools are being shortchanged in a system that spends more on high-poverty center city schools, those who attended say.

Seven years ago,  suburban frustrations led to "split the district" rallies that drew hundreds.  A specific proposal never emerged,  though,  and the state legislature showed no interest in breaking up CMS.

It remains to be seen whether the latest effort will spark the same emotional energy,  let alone gain  practical traction.  (As of 2:30 p.m., this post had about 2,000 page views and 58 people had signed the petition, so it appears there's more interest than buy-in at this stage.)  But Davis said the Republican-dominated legislature will be more receptive to a pitch based on cost savings and local buy-in.

The petition calls for the north district to encompass Huntersville,  Cornelius,  Davidson and the Mountain Island community.  The south district would stretch from Steele Creek in the southwest to Mint Hill in the southeast,  covering territory south of I-485.  Central would cover the territory inside 485 -- a swath that includes the district's highest-poverty schools,  where CMS spends far more per pupil than it does in large suburban schools.

Tim Timmerman,  organizer of the South Mecklenburg Alliance of Responsible Taxpayers (SMART), showed off the group's logo,  a taxpayer shoveling money down "a black hole called center city."  Davis agreed suburban taxpayers pump too much into urban schools,  but noted that  "the big buildings uptown"  also provide a healthy chunk of the Mecklenburg County tax base.

Davis also referred to the question of  "diversity, the NAACP,  all the other stuff,"  and noted that most of the 32 percent of CMS students who are white are concentrated in the north and south suburbs.  A white Ballantyne resident,  who declined to give her name afterward,  talked about "people being bused all over freakin' creation,"  and said black students are crowding into suburban schools in hopes of getting a better education while white families flee to private schools "because they don't like the intrusion of gangs and drugs that's coming out of these other areas."

But both said afterward race isn't motivating the talk of suburban districts.  Davis said the county's six townships deserve the chance to take charge of their schools and have their neighbors make decisions about taxation.  The Ballantyne woman,  who said she has no children,  said it's about protecting neighborhood schools where parent involvement is stronger.  "It's got nothing to do with race. It's all down to parents,"  she said.  And if lower-income parents can't get as involved,  that's not her problem:  "I'm not paying to raise your kids."


Wiley Coyote said...

I still contend this will never fly for a variety of reasons and shouldn't.

No way should any CMS entity have taxing authority.

What do you accomplish by segmenting CMS into three zones?


• Lower overall per pupil cost

Show us how you plan to accomplish that.

• Higher levels of accountability for voters and taxpayers

Again, what accountability? State and Federal regulations will still dictate pretty much what you have to do.

• Local control of schools back to the voters/taxpayers/parents in each of the new, smaller districts

Local control? Still have to meet all government requirements as CMS does today.

• Increased percentage of monies spent in the classroom

Another show us. Show us how you plan to do that.

• Smaller, more responsive administration

Open to conjecture.

• Improved academic performance and graduation rates

Based on...what?

Anonymous said...

Typical, pushy, me-me-me parents--What are they going to do when little Hunter, Gatherer, Riley, and Lacey go off to college, (chop, chop chop--"Errrr, roger that, landing at UNC Chapel Hill--over--chop, chop, chop.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe a smaller district could fix the roof leaks. Why is it that CMS can't afford to fix the roof but can buy a fleet of shiny new maintenance trucks? The isolation of CMS decision makers from the community is a real problem no matter where the office is located.

DistrictSix said...

Still operating as IBM did back in the eighties, the large top down model of business is over.

With the internet, buying power was created for the small operation, to compete with the big operations.

Anyone who does not understand business management today, is either too far removed from it, or never a real part of it to begin with.

Diversity also has been forced for so long, that we have created a false diversity.

When will we let people rise and fail on their own actions? That is the only real way to learn.

This effort may go by the wayside, as has others, but it will not go away. One day it will get the momentum necessary, and this may well be the time.

DistrictSix said...

Anyone notice they have Scout jamborees in parks and the like?

We use to actually go into the real woods. With real problems.

Not using this as a sign we are staging our children's lives, but what else do we stage?

Making schools not reflect the actual community around them, is that not staging their lives?

Everyone wants diversity, but in a park like setting. Perhaps we need it naturally.

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of phys ed teacher getting $84,000/year we could get one more science teacher.

Veronica said...

"a black hole called center city."

True as that is I would suggest rewording the metaphor.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, and I contend that CMS will never allow an outside and private agency to run their schools for them; dictate where funding goes and does not go, hire an admin to run 9 schools and conduct hiring/firing decision and set the education program.

No, that will never happen.

Oh, wait a minute...

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Where do I begin?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like that white woman in Ballantyne knows and speaks the truth.

Too bad everyone doesn't.

We might actually do something sensible about our problems instead of trying to cover them up.

Anonymous said...

Ann, Are the quotes you've provided in this post representative of this group? Or are you just trying to brand this group as racists?

Anonymous said...

"because they don't like the intrusion of gangs and drugs that's (that is) coming out if these other freakin' areas". Well, ain't that right!

Billy-Bob Bubba

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:00..

I have spoken about my opposition to Project LIFT.

There is a huge difference between what they are doing and a wholesale carving up of CMS, that will isolate the city center where the majority of Blacks and low income students are.

The NAACP will most certainly file suit.

If you think you can carve it up, have at it.

BolynMcClung said...


SPARK needs to go back to the drawing board. I suspect that SPARK believes somehow the new north and south districts would be protected by the 1974 Supreme Court decision Milliken v. Bradley

In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled in Milliken v. Bradley(Detroit busing case) that busing across district lines couldn’t be enforced. The supporting evidence was that those districts on the other side of the line didn’t contribute to Detroit’s segregation problem so they shouldn’t be required to participate in the solution. It has been a criterion that has forced school districts across the nation to handle education problems of all sorts within their borders. It has also aided the Feds in targeting.

By splitting CMS into multiple districts, the protection of Milliken is shed. Each of the resulting districts could be shown to have contributed to resegregation, which in this case would be economic segregation.

One of the interesting aspects of the Detroit segregation case is that prior to the Court’s decision a number of plans similar to SPARK’s had been attempted. None were successful at the community level of improving the lots of the kids, families or the functioning of the school district. I predict the same for what SPARK is suggesting.

Go back to the drawing board!

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

WC, actually any public school can get out from under the feds if they really wanted to. You just have to figure out how to operate to meet the requirements of "real" special needs students and the "real" FRL crowd out of your own pocket.

I am not sure how NAACP will have much of a case if there is no direct discriminatory practice established against blacks. If you can carve up the city and 2 county districts where the total property value in each district is about the same, i.e. generate the same property tax revenue, then I think you have a chance with this state legislature.

Anonymous said...

WC - I don't think that group has to prove anything. CMS as it exists today already makes the case that it is too large, inefficient and lacking effectiveness. You yourself have said as much a million times.

Lower overall per pupil cost - that's already done. Suburban schools are already run at dramatically lower cost per pupil numbers.

Better accountability - There is no question that having elected officials from a smaller area allows for better accountability than over a larger area. Congress gets a 15% approval rating yet 95% get re-elected.

Local Control - again, the current CMS proves the point.

More money to the classroom - You do it by spending less on administration. Today, CMS staff runs the district. In the smaller, more efficient districts staff will be much smaller and much less powerful.

Anonymous said...

The white woman from Ballantyne.

Exhibit "A" consequence of suburban schools getting the short shift?

Ann Doss Helms said...

8:28 a.m., that's a fair question. This group is so new and loose-knit that if there were 30 people in the room, I suspect there were 30 opinions/attitudes. My goal wasn't to label anyone but to note that some were acknowledging the proverbial elephant in the room.

Anonymous said...

Ann, Why do you think the suburban schools always fare better in grades, behavior, absenteeism, graduation rates, etc...I figure that since you are the CMS beat writer toy would have much greater insight into this descrepency.Please be candid and honest.

Anonymous said...

Bolyn - you just don't like that the SPARK idea is not your own. The only ideas you like are the ones you come up with.
From what I have seen from SPARK, the idea is to improve education in Mecklenburg County by creating smaller school districts that are more in tune with the needs and desires of the students and parents and taxpayers served. The fact is, smaller school districts consistently outperform mega-districts. The fact is, bigger school districts do NOT deliver any cost savings - in fact the very opposite is true - as districts get bigger and bigger, the amount of waste grows, it does not shrink.

This effort is not in any way shape or form about segregation. In fact, if one were to actually go and look at demographic numbers from around CMS, one would find that the CMS suburban schools have very diverse student populations.

Falling back on the race card is a cop out.

So to those who are railing against this effort, perhaps its time you stop being part of the problem and get on board and start being part of the solution that results in better educational results for ALL children.

Anonymous said...

I think SPARK is missing a few plugs.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

+1 to Wiley's comment

Strip away all of the marketing buzz words like cost savings, responsive central office, neighborhood schools, etc. you arrive at two topics:

1) Why are you spending more on that child than on my child.
2) Why is that trouble maker still in my child's school.

The seesaw of what is equitable will never be balanced. Split the district and take poverty out of the discussion, next will be the resources the ritalin crowd gets, then some other resource.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Wiley and want to add that schools that are struggling will continue to receive more funding even if the district gets broken up.

What this is really about is keeping poor, minority kids out of more affluent, whiter schools and keeping their precious tax dollars from helping anyone who isn't white.

Anonymous said...

There has been some confusion today about what Ann has written. SPARK has only proposed splitting CMS into three smaller districts. North, Central and South seem to geographically make sense. In reviewing what they have put out SPARK has not proposed any hard boundaries as that is purely and entirely up to the State Legislature to decide.

The Legislature could love the idea of smaller districts and split CMS up into East, Central and West. If that were to be the case, it is still an idea worth doing. It's about smaller school districts that deliver better educational experiences for kids and results for parents and taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

CMS is 32% white. In our politically correct society, there is much concern for minorities. Then, shouldn't there be just as much concern about the minority in this situation?

Anonymous said...

Would 3 Charlotte school districts have 3 different school superintendents? What about school boards? How would this work? And on and on ...

Seriously, give it up.

Anonymous said...

This is the same group of people that fought against low-income housing in their area, right?

Anonymous said...

Breaking the district into three separate entities, including taxing authority, bus garage, computer systems, federal compliance reporting, state compliance reporting, frl administration, or any of the other mandated items will not result in cost savings.

Anonymous said...

Boyln - Mr. Negative if it aint broke dont fix it? CMS is so broke they have no idea nor do you what they are doing. You actually think that Pete Gorman is going to come back and save the day. He was in over his head much like your thoughts. You stay out in the woods and maybe Timmy Morgan will come play one day when D-6 implodes.

Anonymous said...

The "high-minority" high school in Ballantyne doesn't have a 90% poverty rate.

BolynMcClung said...


I said, “go back to the drawing board.” Didn’t say otherwise. I pointed out established road blocks. If SPARK is good it will overcome these. If it isn’t, then it will be just another Pied Piper.

I would support smaller districts on a just because basis. But I don’t see any evidence that smaller school districts have the same effect as smaller classrooms. Quite the contrary. Smaller districts have reputations that correlate to the wealth of the areas. Poor begets crappy and rich yields envious.

I was at the SMART/SPARK meeting last night. After hearing the presentations I told the leaders all their arguments were weak. That they needed to go before more knowledgeable audiences so they could refine their message. I didn’t say “no way Jose’.

Tom Davis pointed out that in the three district plan that the center district would be the best funded because of the uptown property values. Maybe that would hold water. But wealth is only one point. The 3 district plan as proposed looks like a lawyers dream and a taxpayers nightmare.

The basis of SMART and SPARK’s presentation was value to the taxpayer. Now that’s a good argument to a point and that point will be defined by who has the best legal team.

While it may be just fine to build gated communities for private residences, I have my doubt that doing the same to divide tax dollars will fly.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Ballantyne is the area that had some upstanding citizens vehemently oppose low-income housing, mixed-income housing and affordable housing during a community meeting held at a church.

Anonymous said...

Ballantyne is also home to a movie theater with special VIP seating so Buffy doesn't have to rub elbows with Aunt Jemima.

Anonymous said...

February 8, 2012 9:14 AM ... so, what's wrong with that? It has been said the you can't fix stupid, so let them fix their own problems starting in the home. Babysitting Ju'quan who doesn't want to be there isn't helping Buffy's chance to learn and become a productive member society.

BolynMcClung said...

TO ANON 9:37

Let’s define broke. In SMART’s eyes this would be not getting value for taxes. Specific to this blog: a subpar education.

I’ve made the argument that whether using CMS numbers for any school or even looking at the NAEP National Score Card that performance is lower than a snake’s hips. A performance number of 95 or better at Ardrey Kell connected to a low per student funding makes me wonder if that 95 could have been 120 or more. We’ll never know.

I’ve recently produced some information that asks parents to consider whether board policy, money and performance have become disconnected. They shouldn’t be. SPARK and SMART do present an option for bringing those three closer together. It’s an approach that seems reasonable. But the way they’ve come to the public isn’t productive.

Ann’s observation about 30 people and 30 views in the room is probably why S/S had to weaken their presentations. There were just too many angry views to satisfy with one good thought.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

If CMS is broken, please cite specific personal examples of where CMS failed you or your child.

Our children have attended Huntersville, Torrence Creek, and Bradley. We have dealt with trailers, large class sizes, teachers, principal's, and the learning community offices.

At no point have we had the feeling of CMS being too large or unresponsive. What we have felt is the lack of money being spent on science and math experiments and appropriate field trips of manageable size.

Tom G. said...

I attended the meeting last night and it was NOT a room of racists at all. It was a room full of concerned residents of South Mecklenburg and yes the area encompasses Ballantyne. In fact most of the concerned residents in attendance dont have children in CMS schools as I saw it. However, these residents including myself are more concerned with our tax dollars feeding center city agendas rather then South Mecklenburg issues and problems. CMS is just an issue within the issue. Instead of people hiding behind anonymous signatures and claiming racism why not get active in the community and express your own concerns then. To the leaders of SMART, I say THANK YOU for your time and effort. It is appreciated and I hope more residents get involved.

Anonymous said...

Ballantyne simply wants its citizens to remain "upstanding".

Anyone have a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

FRL rate over 50% (maybe 40% I forget) schools will still received "targeted" dollars that the state (from the lottery) and the feds send. Even if you were able to levelize all other funding, these schools will get more dollars per student.

Data currently shows that many urban schools have had reduced $ per pupil spending and academic scores have not suffered. I equate that to puring a gallon of water into a pint container. You can still cut the flow down and the pint will fill up. Meanwhile, resources are going down the drain the suburban schools could use. Additionally, the suburban schools are now showing negative performance scores.

Anonymous said...

There is no sense in moving this society to the level of the lowest common denominator.

Anonymous said...

Why would Aunt Jemima want to rub Buffy's elbows, anyway?

What does she get out of it?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10:19...

West MEck had 24 mobile classrooms for years. My son had classes in them.

Paw Creek had mobiles for the past 4 or 5 years.

Both of these schools are more westside than any of the West Charlotte/Project LIFT schools.

So to all you "north and south suburbanites", there are westside suburbanites as well.

Tom G. said...

Take a look at the trailers that Hawk Ridge has had for years....and then Polo Ridge and Elon park.....Community House Middle School.....

Anonymous said...

The "high minority" school in Ballantyne doesn't have a 90% loser rate, either.

But, bring Aunt Jemina down to the theatre to sit next to Buffy and maybe some of that will rub off.

Anonymous said...

To the knukle head who does not see CMS broken. Say what your kid went to school in a trailer. Well that would be broken 1 as they are non-stable,unhealthy and poor working conditions. CMS continues to lie and falsify data so you dont even know what grades your kid achieved. CMS cannot find a superintendant willing to come to Charlotte. Heck we won the Broad Foundation award a measurment of failing students. Our graduation rate is close to 73% and we were happy? The positives man just the KOOLAID drink it slowly.

Anonymous said...

I was not at last night's meeting, but if there are meetings in the north, I will attend. I'm not for seceding only from CMS but also from Mecklenburg County. We have no say in how many tax dollars are taken from us due to the faulty revals and we have say in how the tax revenue is spent. Center city controls it all, and I for one am sick of it. Maybe we won't be able to secede legally, but we can darn sure work to defeat any bond issues.
And, I would like to know why anyone who raises the issues about where the money is spent is immediately labeled a racist? There are a number of successful blacks living in our suburban communities who would like the amounts spent on their school children to be more equitable.

Anonymous said...

To each of you making the digs about Ballantyne's objections to low income housing--Did you miss this week's story in the Observer about Elizabeth's objection to a homeless project? Of course there were no editorials knocking the good people of Elizabeth over this. No large editorial page spread with our most enlightened citizens and editorial writers pontificating on the selfishness of Elizabeth residents.

Anonymous said...

So basically we've got the suburban ring which wants to secede. Further, this ring wants to be subdivided into geographic areas to represent people of like socio-economic statuses.

Thus, we remove the costly and so far unattainable goal of educating high poverty students and since the geographic area represents people of like education and incomes the people being taxed will empathize with the schools needs even if they don't have children.

Tom G. said...

To anonymous at 11:09...it is not about keeping all like children together...learning comes down to the education administration, the teachers the staff the students drive and will to learn and the PARENTS involvement. If the so called suburbanites are more involved in the childrens lives and they seem to be producing better results well then that tells me not to spend more of my money on the under producing child but maybe have the parents of them get more involved.....now there is a thought.....

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10:59...

Thank you for the knucklhead compliment. That's mild compared to most I get.

You obvuously have never read any of my other 20,000 posts on this subject or you would have remembered I've stated countless times, public education in general and CMS are broken and have been for decades.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for it as long as the new districts buy or lease the exsisitng school infastructures in their respected areas.

Anonymous said...

Let us think for just a second. If CMS has given LIFT permission to operate 9 schools independently of the district then I believe this sets the legal precedence necessary to argue for the independence of other parts of the district. How much money will society pour down the tubes to help a small group of people who, in the end, will be no better off 20 years from now.

Anonymous said...

This is not a race issue...its a socio-economic issue. High poverty schools suffer from LACK OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT, not funding. Which is why throwing more money at these schools is stupid, and MY TAX DOLLARS from Ballantyne should not be going towards solving a problem in other communities that can't be FIXED with money. When a kid has a parent (WHITE OR BLACK) that doesn't support them at home, help with homework, and make sure the kid knows how to behave in school, then more money for that school isn't going to do squat.

I'm considering a move to Union County where the prop. taxes are much lower and sending my kid to private school. CMS is a mess. As the Ballantyne resident said, "im not paying to raise your kids," its not my problem if other schools don't perform well.

Anonymous said...


Sounds to me like project LIFT has given us a template.

Anonymous said...

Anyone for state orphanages?

It might help break that "cycle of poverty" that comes from poor parenting.

Might as well get an early start on being wards of the state.

Anonymous said...

The Elizabeth area didn't pitch a fit about housing for gainfully employed people nor did anyone brag about their private jet.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Elizabeth area already have affordable (low-income?) housing options?

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:46, you make a good point. It would be very interesting to see what would happen if a well-funded group proposed a partnership with CMS to make improvements in another group of schools, along the LIFT lines, rather than a complete separation from the district. Board member Rhonda Lennon seemed to hint at that when the board approved the partnership, saying she hoped to see that approach benefit students "from the projects to the peninsula."

Anonymous said...

"The Elizabeth area didn't pitch a fit about housing for gainfully employed people nor did anyone brag about their private jet."

I am a Ballantyne resident that was at that meeting..and yes, the guy who made the comment about his jet was a jacka** and most people shut him down as soon as he started off with that comment. And furthermore, the biggest issue WAS NOT housing for low-income people. It was something that would have added to ALREADY CROWDED schools, and more importantly, the type of people that low-income housing attracts. The gainfully employed people move from high-poverty and crime areas..guess what happens. You have grandma, mom and five kids squashed into a two bedroom apartment where one of them has employment. That's five extra kids in our communities school that I'm paying for, and those kids's cousins and friends from the "old neighborhood" are suddenly walking around MINE in the middle of the day because they are either not in school or unemploed. All dispersing low-income housing does is bring it's problems into the new neighborhoods. And I'm not paying thousands in property taxes to have a group of thugs walking around my neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:17.

"And I'm not paying thousands in property taxes to have a group of thugs walking around my neighborhood."

Of course you are. We all are.

The thugs have won. They have all the sympathy and all the support and backing of our government.

You should feel guilty for working so hard to earn money to provide "better" for your children.

Because what's best for your children is worst for someone else's.

Probably someone who is too sorry to keep a job or get an education or help their own children.

Just as their parents and grandparents were.

You were probably "born" privileged.

So someone needs to take that away from you.

And there is a whole line of them standing around waiting with their hands out.

So, either pay up or move.

And that's the way it is in today's America...

If you don't like it, move to China, if they will take you.

Anonymous said...


Where did you grow up? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

12:17 is right on. I saw it happen in my neighborhood just before I moved out. It has only gotten worse and I am stuck with a house I can not sell and I refuse to take Section 8 renters.

Anonymous said...

Project LIFT as a template for how to have local control?

How? CMS did not cede control, they are allowing an outside organization to come in and run some schools at their own expense.

Unless you control the money, you control nothing.

Anonymous said...

The last producer out please close the gate.

Anonymous said...

I attended a rural K-12 school for three years with one of the highest percentages of poor kids in NY state (upstate NY). I remember people living in squalor in shacks with dirt floors and smelly wood stoves. A lot of my classmates lived in trailers or on dilapidated farms. Most of my classmates received free lunch. My school wasn't much, but I felt loved and accepted here. I always felt safe. I also thought my middle-class family was rich which we were compared to other people. We did eventually move to a small town with a little more going for it. My sibling went on to attend an Ivy League university. I received a full-tuition scholarship for a M.A. from one of the most expensive universities in the country. I'm simply not getting it. The fear of living near and among poor people. Is this what we're teaching our children? I do get the overcrowding issue and reached a point of enrolling my kids in private school due to continued frustrations over student assignment. I got tired of the instability. I suppose this makes me a hypocrite. I don't know. CMS is complicated.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else tired of the "racist" and "1%" cries over everything lately? You want better, be BETTER. NOT BITTER!!

Anonymous said...

It's not the "poor" people that are a problem.

A lot of decent people are poor.

It's the "unsafe" people.

Or as my grandma called them, the "sorry" people.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the 1% have to worry about anything.

Least of all, public schools.

It's the 20% below that 1% (or perhaps below the top 5%) that are getting the shaft on this.

Ballantyne is not "the rich".

Wiley Coyote said...

Project LIFT is not a template for cutting CMS into thirds with autonomy and taxing authority. It hasn't been implemented yet and may not produce desired results.

It's amazing some of you can't see the forest for the trees and realize the NAACP will not allow a central zone to be carved out of the County which will contain an overwhelming majority of Black, low income students.

From last year:

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Leaders of the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP and the newly formed group called Charlotte Coalition for Effective Public School Education held a press conference Monday afternoon to speak out against proposed budget cuts made by Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

The groups are protesting CMS's proposal to consolidate poor and minority schools together in learning communities for the 2010-11 school year.

Their other concern is that CMS has recommended to cut bus transportation for students who attend magnet schools.

"I think it's unfair," Char-Meck NAACP Pres.. Kojo Nantambu. "And it puts a strain on parents and the families, and it's a blatant injustice against the people."

The groups fear both of these decisions could deprive minority students of getting a quality education in CMS.

"Contrary to reports," Char-Meck Assoc. of Educators Pres.. Mary McCray said. "This would not bring any new resources to these schools nor serve to improve the quality of education for the children here. "

Anonymous said...

12:48, while LIFT does not control the regular classroom money, they have said they want to "recommend" "reassigning" staff that do not fit their expectations for classroom teachers and such in these schools. I am sure CMS will give them blanket approval for whatever personnel change LIFT asks for.

This was the failing point of the Halem Achievement Zone. Dr Canada found he just had to break out and go the charter school concept to have all this ideas incorporated. He could not pull it off in a public school. The book did not go into detail as to why. I expect the teacher's union had a little to do with it. Also, might have been the (un)willingness of some of he administration in believing his effort would do any good.

Anonymous said...


So this is a safety issue, not a race or class issue? We are home to a banner, world-class county courthouse and jail system. Too bad a lot of CMS schools aren't this nice.

Anonymous said...

Magical words..

"nor serve to improve the quality of education for the children here. "

Have not seen that to be the concern of the CMS BOE for the suburban schools since they lost the Cappichione court case.

Anonymous said...

The three district plan would be a sound choice for Mecklenburg in that it would probably keep many families from elaving the county, and perhaps bring some back who would prefer shorter commutes. This would be a boon for property values and taxes in the county if some knew they had an option beyond CMS.

As for those concerns of the center city getting short changed, when I last checked, there were still plenty of wealthy neighborhoods within the 485 loop full of engaged citizens would would want to see their local system succeed. As for the suburban areea outside of 485, they do have their share of minorities. More than somepeople here would like to think. Either way, racial segregation would not be as much a concern as some people might speculate.

As for the Ballentyne person concenred about the drugs coming into her neck of the woods, I hate to break it to you, but I knew many white suburban kids 'from good homes' back in my day who were total potheads and cokeheads, etc. I don't think that's changed much. That problem exists no matter what part of town you live in.

Anonymous said...

1:29, but not a justice system. You have all the great looking courthouses and jails you want, but the justice delivery system can still fail. We are living proof.

Anonymous said...

What nature tries to teach us:(From Observer story today)

House agrees 60 wild horses are not enough

"Some type of intervention is necessary," she said. "This kind of contraception improves the overall health and longevity of the herd because it is unhealthy for young female horses to reproduce very often."

Anonymous said...

Three districts means three superintendents and administrative teams and compromises employees vested years in work history, benefits, continuity. Costs, costs, costs everywhere. Two or more of the districts probably lose grants and other local, federal and donated funds. It dilutes the pool for charitable donations. Charlotte can hardly be a world-class city it so desperately desires if it operates small-minded, exclusivity-driven schools with little to distinguish them. To be a large, urban school district is an honor, a privilege, and a responsibility. Taxpayers and parents, as happens in private and parochial schools, pick up the slack for what the district can no longer afford because it is no longer big, encompassing, can't offer the classes and teachers, salaries, benefits. In states where every little corner of a community is its own school district, the sacrifices and limitations outnumber the picket-fence comfort of patrolling the backyards where we grow and raise children who are to live in and serve a world that is, indeed, diverse and sticky and imperfect and requires sometimes uncomfortable situations, conversations and the time, patience and interest in building a robust nation, not just a vibrant suburb.

Wiley Coyote said...

Agreed 5:52...

I've been reading where some districts that have split up, started out believing the same things those in Southern Mecklenburg County believe, only to find out after the fact that it did cost more to split and test scores were no better.

It made them "feel better" though...

Utah's youngest school district will observe its first birthday on Thursday. But one year after Canyons was born through a bitter split with Jordan School District, it's unclear whether students -- or taxpayers -- on either side are better off.

The divorce broke up Utah's largest school district -- 81,000 students in the south Salt Lake Valley -- and created the first new school district in 100 years. The process, an east-side vote that excluded west-side Jordan residents and left them with less money per pupil, sparked resentment on both sides that still festers.

The breakup alone cost taxpayers $33 million, according to a Salt Lake Tribune analysis done in 2009. The tab included $3 million in legal fees paid by both sides, the cost of hiring people to run Canyons and the expense of relocating Jordan's central offices.

So far, class sizes are no smaller, taxes are higher and there is less help for kids struggling to read in both districts. Both are dipping into construction funds to cover operating expenses, a fix offered by the Legislature that is available for only two years.

Source: http://www.allbusiness.com/education-training/education-administration/14708965-1.html#ixzz1lpyaYs5q

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 5:52, but I think you are being rather parochial and small minded in your opinion. There are many wonderful school districts throughout this country that are not "large urban districts" but do an outstanding job of serving their students and preparing them to be global citizens. Even places that have many small districts are often doing quite a good job--can team with other small districts to share certain classes, have regional tech schools, etc. There is not just one "right" way, just as there is not just one way of living (urban in your opinion apparently) that is superior to others.

Anonymous said...

No parochial preference for urban, only if you *are* an urban area - a city, with conventions coming to town, professional sports teams, big-name businesses investing in future industries with an eye toward world economies. Why try to be more myopic than necessary? If people are really honest, and they are shockingly candid here in admitting their one-sided proclivities, it isn't about dissatisfaction with CMS athletic programs, resources, IB programs, arts resources, technical purchases, libraries, student spirit, Scholastic book fairs, programs for exceptional children (high-flyers and those identified with challenges), clubs, activities, student voluntarism, proms, parties and social events. It's all about protectionism and isolation, and I think those ideas hurt the so-called protectorate as much or moreso than those no longer "in my back yard." If you're a small town, develop the best small-town schools you can. If you're a suburban area, make the best of your suburban resources. If you're one of the shining stars of the South, talk about your problems; use innovative ideas and communication to creatively solve them and set an example. Don't tear down your foundation and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Anonymous said...


Let Muri, Baxter and the new overbloated PR department show and tell us the way.

Anonymous said...

Many have already left CMS. Look across the border (SC & Union County).

Anonymous said...

CMS addiction to mobile classrooms is indicative of poor planning. Undersized schools, improperly drawn school boarders, failure to understand established building capacity, and an excess of operations cash that can be spent into the millions per year moving them. Why not hire planners who can do basic math, save mobile costs and then fund an urban planning venture with the County in the lead. Get CMS out of the operations business so it can focus on education. If CMS became three districts it would make it impossible to pillage suburban schools tax booty.

Anonymous said...

We want


Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:56...

CMS gets about 28% of its revenue from Mecklenburg County.

Tell us how much of that comes from your area.

Ever think just as much if not more comes from the "central area"?

Anonymous said...

What percentage of Bond funding comes from Mecklenburg County taxpayers? Maybe 107% with debt service? 28% of 1.1 billion is a lot. PS: Northsiders also pay state tax. Funding is what it is. Planning is an art that requires special skill to benefit the community. Planning is more than number crunching.

Anonymous said...

Are there any planning credentials in the CMS planning department? What did these people earn their degrees in?

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the bulk of County Tax funding comes from "central area"? This may support the separatist assertion that the smaller districts would operate for less, they would have to! Hmmm. Source Wiley?

Anonymous said...

Based on some of the assertions here, why not just have one district for the whole state, heck, for the whole southeast US.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, the BOE and powers that be are not the least bit concerned that any suburbanites are unhappy with CMS. They will go on their merry way with their rose colored glasses on.

DistrictSix said...

Sign the petition www.SouthCharlotte.org

Anonymous said...

Well Well

At least the dufus cohort of Muri,Cobitz and Baxter has dwindled. Now if we can just get rid of the rest and the hundred thousands funding of the new PR people. They are the pride and joy of CMS (Cook More Statistics)

Anonymous said...


Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 7:10...

I never said the "central" area brought in more revenue.

That was my question to a previous poster by posing the question.

Anonymous said...

One thing to keep clear is that, when breaking up CMS, there would no longer BE a CMS. So, CMS would NOT have taxing authority because it would cease to exist.
I'd NEVER vote to give taxing authority to the current configuration of CMS. The district is too large and there is no accountability. They would tax us further into oblivion and voters would be powerless to stop it.

However, creating smaller, more local school boards with shorter terms would allow for more accountability.

To the argument that there would be no cost savings, I vehemently disagree. Any of the three possible districts would be able to start from zero on the administrative side. There is so much bloat and waste on the administrative side of CMS - and quite frankly I'd rather have teachers and principals and parents engaged in and controlling the way schools are operated, rather than $300,000 for the supt and $175,00 each for a half dozen assistant superintendents and $125,000 each for a hundred folks who, if they stopped working tomorrow, you'd never know it except that the tax rate would go down.

Show me where CMS saves money by being so large. Show me how creating homogeneous schools over a 500 square mile area helps kids learn and achieve better. Show me how you can justify people having ZERO of their local tax dollars going to educate their kids and the kids that live in their neighborhood makes any form of sense.