Tuesday’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meeting features a double-header of the district’s most important topics, with board members and the public weighing in on student assignment and a superintendent search.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center with a public hearing on four broad goals for the student assignment review. The review is scheduled to continue for most of 2016, with changes taking effect in 2017-18. The goals include reducing concentrations of poverty and high-need students, protecting successful schools and programs, providing school options and reducing overcrowding.
After that, people can make three-minute remarks on any topic – and the debate over the timing of a superintendent search is likely to spark commentary.
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For months, the board and the community have been split over the best approach to long-term leadership. Some want to extend Superintendent Ann Clark’s contract, which expires July 31, saying it gives the board and the public more time to grapple with student assignment.
But some critics have described talk of extending Clark’s contract as an effort by those in power to shut the public out of a decision.
As of a Jan. 30 board retreat, five members said they want to extend Clark’s contract and start a search, while four said they believe they can do a search without extending Clark’s stay. They’re scheduled to vote Tuesday.
If all that’s not enough, the school board is slated for a joint meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday with Mecklenburg County commissioners, who control local money for education. They’ll discuss the assignment review, the superintendent search and how those issues could shape the 2016-17 budget. The meeting is open to the public but won’t include public comments.
Several private groups with an interest in education have invited board members and others who are knowledgeable about CMS to speak at public forums this month. See the accompanying list for details.
Tuesday: Meeting with Mecklenburg County commissioners to discuss student assignment and the budget starts at 3 p.m. in room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.
The school board’s regular meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the meeting chamber of the Government Center. Members of the public can sign up for a public hearing on assignment goals or general comments; call 980-343-5139 by noon Tuesday or sign up on the site before the meeting. Details: www.cms.k12.nc.us/boe
Thursday: The board’s policy committee continues its discussion of student assignment at 10:30 a.m. in room 527 of the Government Center.
Monday: Amy Hawn Nelson of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, co-editor of a book about desegregation and resegregation in CMS, will talk about demographics and assignment at a OneMeck meeting at 7 p.m., Harrison Church, 15008 Lancaster Highway, Pineville. Details: OneMeck.org
Thursday: My Brother’s Keeper, a leadership and mentoring program for African-American males, will hold a town hall meeting on educational equity from 5 to 8 p.m. at the UNC Charlotte Center City campus, 320 E. Ninth St. CMS board Chair Mary McCray is among the panelists.
Feb. 16: Charlotte integration pioneer Dorothy Counts-Scoggins and CMS board member Eric Davis will be part of a conversation on schools, racial equity and the faith community’s role; 7 p.m. at Myers Park United Methodist Church, 1501 Queens Road. Details: (704) 376-8584 or www.mpumc.org.