New Committee Working to Improve Equity Across Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg School leaders are turning to outside voices for help achieving equity across the district.

They say it’s about breaking down barriers and closing opportunity gaps for CMS students.

“We all deserve the same right to quality education, regardless of what zip code you’re in or what race you are,” says Justin Perry.

Perry is one of 39 members of a new equity committee charged with recommending ways the district can change.

The goal: to make sure students on one side of the county have the same opportunities as students on the other.

Many argue equal efforts don’t always result in equal outcomes.

“But simply, based on where you grow up, you don’t have the same opportunity as somebody else in another neighborhood,” Perry explains.

Members will be charged with looking for ways to increase school and classroom diversity.

They’ll rank and compare the condition of school facilities to see where improvement can be made.

And they’ll study which schools have the most employee turnover, including a larger number of inexperienced teachers.

Committee members are made up of parents, former teachers, faith leaders, and longtime education activists like Pamela Grundy.

“Step one will be sort of really looking seriously at the root causes and then figuring out, for example, how funding could then target what those causes are,” Grundy says.

She says while the committee will play an important role, it will take more to achieve concrete solutions.

“There has to be the will, both at the school level and the community, to do what really needs to be done,” Grundy says.