What Happened In The Last 15 Months? It’s The Looming Question After The CMS Board Of Education Fired Superintendent Earnest Winston

CHARLOTTE, NC. — What happened in the last 15 months? It’s the looming question after the CMS Board of Education fired CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston on Tuesday night. Board member Rhonda Cheek tells WCCB that when Earnest Winston’s contract was extended in January 2021, her focus was to get kids back in person and restart all extracurricular activities. Cheek adds:

“Things were very chaotic in all areas with covid and I made the best decision at that time I could. My focus now is to move forward with new leadership. The issues that cause me to question Mr. Winston’s leadership really became evident after we came back in person and the chaos caused by covid started to settle down.”

Board members state the reason for termination relates to issues with student outcomes. The board voted to terminate Winston’s contract for convenience on Tuesday. The vote was 7-2. Winston will be paid a severance of about $24,000 per month for the next two years, as required by his contract. That total amount of about $576,000 is the equivalent of two years of full pay for the outgoing superintendent.

Former CMS teacher and CMS parent Melissa Easley says that money could’ve been used for students and teachers.

“Even if it could only be used for personnel, we could’ve used that to be more effective in our teaching. It could’ve trickled down to the schools and it could’ve helped,” Easley says.

Easley believes Winston was a scapegoat and shouldn’t have been let go.

“He was leading the largest or the fourth largest district in the country During an unprecedented time. Yeah, there’s going to be mistakes. Yeah, there’s going to be issues. But I didn’t see anything major that would’ve happened that was so dramatic that happened from December.”