CMS board candidate Larry Bumgarner on student assignment

Larry Bumgarner, 2015 at-large candidate for Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.
Larry Bumgarner, 2015 at-large candidate for Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.

The Observer asked all nine candidates for the three at-large seats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board to select a top priority for student assignment and explain their views in 500 words or less (get links to the others here). This statement is unedited.

Ann of the Observer asked of email to those of us running for School Board, to “select ONE”, (yes, just the way she sent it) question out of these five below as the top priority in student assignment.

1. Maintain stability.

2. Focus on offering guaranteed seats in schools close to home.

3. Reduce concentrations of poverty / increase diversity.

4. Strengthen choice and magnet options.

5. Control costs.

Recently a big push has been taking place for some new version of Busing to achieve a percentage of white and black students in CMS.

My first question is where the white kids are going to come from. CMS is down to about 30 percent white kids, and most of those are in the overcrowded suburban schools.

Oh and note only the Suburban Schools get around 5 thousand per student, with the class sizes being 35 or larger. While the Urban Schools get up to 12 thousand per student and no urban school has a large class size.

And why does CMS still say they are an urban system like NY, Chicago and the like, and compare themselves to those schools, which have no Suburban Schools helping the numbers like CMS?

But here is my answer to the request for one of these as my top priority. And I will trust she will include the above to show the full context.

I will help create a learning environment that will make all these five above secondary, and remnants of the past failures we have learned so much from.

We need to get past using our schools for social change, and instead become a place to create a future for these kids.

I know I will donate my salary back to something which helps the kids, and I hope all the other members will do the same. Especially to show we are in it for the kids, and not a part time job, or not using this as a stepping stone to run for higher office.

Bumgarner: 704-919-1230,, @makelivesmatter