Cornelius Advisory Board Hears Feedback on Possible Town-Run Charter Schools

CORNELIUS, N.C. – Debate is heating up again over possible town-run charter schools in suburban Mecklenburg County towns.

An advisory board in Cornelius heard from parents and teachers on Wednesday night.

“We all can admit that we have an issue here in our area with the overcrowding and the lack of funds,” says parent Tanya Feehan.

Her daughter Emma will start her freshman year at Hough High School on Monday. But it’s her younger children she worries about moving forward in CMS.

“My son’s class last year had 28 or 29 kids and he’s been in a mod since 3rd grade, I mean, that’s not OK,” Feehan says.

To address parent concerns, lawmakers passed a bill last year giving four local towns (Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville, and Cornelius) the option to open their own charter schools.

The advisory board in Cornelius laid out its option on Wednesday night.

The include doing nothing, trying to partner with CMS, opening and operating charter schools, partnering with an existing charter school, or looking into splitting off from CMS.

They are the same five options Huntersville considered earlier this year.

A similar advisory board there has already recommended that town leaders here open their own charter school, while looking into breaking away from CMS.

Board members in Cornelius say they will present conclusions in September, but won’t make recommendations.

“We’re deliberately leaving it up to the board to decide which if any options they want to pursue,” says advisory board member Kurt Naas.