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The $922 million question: Should voters approve CMS bonds? Debate coming Sunday

Renaissance West STEAM Academy, which opened in August, was built with money from the 2013 CMS bonds.
Renaissance West STEAM Academy, which opened in August, was built with money from the 2013 CMS bonds.

Anyone trying to decide whether to vote for the $922 million school bond package on the Nov. 7 ballot can hear both sides Sunday at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Political Caucus forum.

Former school board Chair Arthur Griffin will make the case for approving the money for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to build new schools and renovate or expand old ones. Mecklenburg County Commissioner James Puckett will argue against the bonds.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Sunday at Reeder Memorial Baptist Church, 3725 Beatties Ford Road and is open to the public. The caucus, coming off a victory for all the candidates it endorsed in the Sept. 12 primary, is scheduled to decide whether to support the CMS bond referendum.

A bond referendum authorizes county officials to borrow money; voter approval allows the county to get a lower interest rate. The last bonds for CMS were approved in 2013, for a total of $290 million. This year’s bond campaign is the biggest in the district’s history. It includes money for 10 totally new schools, 12 new buildings to replace existing schools and 12 renovation/expansion projects.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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