Could Northern Mecklenburg County Break Away from CMS?

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Could Northern Mecklenburg County break away from CMS?

The fight between suburban town leaders and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board could be heating up again.

Monday night, a charter school advisory board recommended Huntersville town leaders open their own charter school, while also looking to create a new school district.

“It is bold but it seemed to be the only long-term plan,” explains Jim Puckett, a member of the Huntersville Educational Options Study Committee.

“If someone tells you, I hate you and I’m not going to help you, don’t be surprised if you take some alternate path,” Puckett says.

Town leaders in the northern part of the county say their needs have been ignored by CMS.

State lawmakers passed a bill last year aimed at addressing those concerns. It allows the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Mint Hill, and Matthews to open their own municipal charter schools.

The CMS Board responded by taking the four towns off the priority list for new schools.

“Basically have said, nothing more for you for the next 15 years,” Puckett says.

Breaking away from CMS could be difficult, likely facing lawsuits and needing approval from state lawmakers.

Another advisory board member says while she wants to see a smaller school district, she urged caution about town-run charter schools.

“I would implore you to give your constituents the opportunity to weigh in,” said member Carrie Warren.