HB2 Hits CMS with Unintended Impact

The backlash against North Carolina House Bill 2 is being felt in unexpected places, including the Charlotte Mecklenburg School district.

 

CHARLOTTE, NC — The backlash against North Carolina House Bill 2 is being felt in unexpected places, including the Charlotte Mecklenburg School district.

I sat down Friday with CMS Superintendent Ann Clark to talk about how it’s impacting the district, and what it could mean moving forward.

“I’m deeply concerned about the reputation of our state,” says Clark.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is one of the biggest districts in the country, and frequently hosts major national conferences. CMS and North Carolina were scheduled to host multiple gatherings for leadership from large, urban school districts over the next two months.

“Two of those three events have already been canceled, and I anticipate the third will be,” says Clark. “So there is great concern for people in my position across the country about coming to a conference in Charlotte.”

CMS relies on tax dollars for funding; dollars driven by attracting business and creating jobs in Charlotte. The backlash from HB2 puts that in peril. It also makes recruiting top teaching talent a challenge.

“It’s not a recipe for people to be excited about relocating to Charlotte, bringing their business to Charlotte or coming to Charlotte to teach,” says Clark.

And there’s more.

Public schools and universities across the state are going to be challenged.

Do they follow House Bill 2? Or the federal mandates in Title IX, which prohibits educational institutions from receiving federal funding for treating people differently based on sex?

Title IX provides more than $4 billion to education in North Carolina.

There is clearly a conflict.

“We have a state law,” says Clark. “And we have a title that gives clear guidance. And one of those comes with significant federal funding. There’s going to clearly need to be some bringing together of people around the table to really look at, perhaps, the unintended consequences.”