CMS Crisis Alert System Vendor Claims “Political Motivation” for District Cutting Ties

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – CMS is not commenting on new claims from the vendor behind the district’s Crisis Alert System.

The Superintendent announced on Tuesday night that the district will part ways with Atlanta-based Centegix.

One day after CMS announced it’s pulling the plug, the company fired back claiming it, “…repeatedly received feedback from CMS personnel that the solution was consistently performing as promised.”

And saying, “It is abundantly clear there is a disconnect between the CMS project team and CMS leadership.”

“This is cutting edge technology. And some glitches are to be expected. But the problems we had are more than glitches,” Superintendent Earnest Winston told the school board on Tuesday night.

The district paid Centegix more than a million dollars last year to install the system in high schools but says it doesn’t work.

Employees trigger an alarm by pressing a button on a card. Warning lights in each classroom flash a different color depending on the level of emergency.

“The teachers were never confident because when they pushed that button, nothing happened,” says Judy Kidd, with the Classroom Teachers Association.

Kidd says the district, under previous leadership, should have never signed off on Centegix.

“It doesn’t work. It never has worked,” Kidd says.

Centegix saying, “We are disappointed CMS leadership chose not to work with us…” and “The lack of transparency and collaboration is unfair to vendors and appears to be politically motivated.”

“Centegix should cut a check and send it back to the district or this entire community should rise up and we should sue them,” Kidd says.

Winston would not say if the district is planning any legal action. But he says they do intend to try and get back $1.1 million already paid to Centegix.

The district will not pay another $600,000 they still owe.