Town of Matthews Decides Against Municipal Charter Schools; Huntersville now “Neutral” on Issue

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Town leaders in Matthews voted Monday night on a resolution not to open a municipal charter school.

In return, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board will put the town back on the priority list for new public school construction.

The town of Cornelius passed a similar resolution last October.

It’s something no one would have expected a few months ago.

In 2018, House Bill 514 gave four towns (Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville, and Cornelius) the ability to build and operate their own charter schools.

But now leadership has changed, including a new mayor in Matthews, and a new school board chair.

In Huntersville, Mayor John Anarella says his town is now “neutral” on H.B. 514. It comes after town leaders met with CMS board members and the new Superintendent last month.

Town leaders like former Huntersville commissioner Mark Gibbons have long complained about current and future overcrowding in the northern part of the district.

“The town shouldn’t even be really involved in running the schools, but when we don’t get seats for our students to sit in, then we have to take some type of action,” Gibbons says.

Huntersville leaders plan to continue dialogue with CMS through an advisory committee made up of town leaders and school board members, known as MEAC.

The town hopes to convince the board to re-consider its capital funding priorities.

“And that’s all we want to see. Put the real numbers on the table and let the construction fall where it may. And I believe that North Mecklenburg would fare well in that,” Gibbons says.