CMS Holds Public Hearing Before Student Assignment Vote

New student assignment guiding principles. Another public hearing. More strong opinions.

CHARLOTTE, NC — New student assignment guiding principles. Another public hearing. More strong opinions.
The CMS board says it is close to a final vote on the foundation for a new student assignment plan, but lots of people believe there are still some huge holes.

While some may be tired of talking about it, there is no shortage of passionate opinion when it comes to CMS and student assignment.

“Institutional racism that is alive and well here in our district, protecting some of the  disproportionately white CMS schools from student reassignment requests,” said Jessica Miller during remarks to the board at Wednesday night’s public hearing.

The latest proposed guidelines would keep a system in place where students are assigned to schools based on where they live, with the option to apply to magnet schools with special programs.

“I cautiously support the drafting of guiding principles, but I also want them to insure stability and predictability,” says Matthews resident Thomas Hu.

“They need to let the kids, the parents, make choices where the kids go to school, not CMS,” says CMS parent Ivylinda Alford. “Because you have home schooling right there in your home, but you have to go way across town to school and I think that’s not fair to our kids.”

The new wrinkles would see students getting priority for admission to those magnet schools based on socioeconomic status and boundaries drawn to increase diversity within schools.

CMS currently has thousands of students in high poverty schools.

“They need assign each student to a school,” says Hu. “It’s a massive undertaking I think. I mean they’ve got to move quickly.”

“We need to start thinking about Charlotte as a community, not a collection of individual neighborhoods,” Miller told the CMS Board. “We need one Charlotte and one Meck.”

The CMS Board is expected to vote on those guiding principles April 26th, then begin the process of drawing new student assignment boundaries.