Education

Coming Tuesday: Public hearing on CMS construction and bond plan

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools uses more than 1,000 mobile classrooms to extend capacity of crowded schools.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools uses more than 1,000 mobile classrooms to extend capacity of crowded schools. Observer file photo

The public can weigh in on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ priority list for school construction at a special hearing Tuesday at Vance High School.

The board scheduled the single-topic hearing because the regular April 12 meeting already has a packed agenda, and because CMS leaders want to push for a bond referendum in November. Superintendent Ann Clark recently outlined an $805 million plan for 29 projects, including new schools, expansions and renovations.

“The needs are pretty critical. We’ve got to raise up those needs,” Vice Chair Elyse Dashew said Thursday.

CMS doesn’t have taxing authority, so it falls to the county to borrow and repay money for school construction and renovation. Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio believes the bond vote should wait until 2017, a position she says she’ll reiterate to county commissioners at a Tuesday meeting. She said she and Clark have discussed the issue and “our position has not changed.”

Tuesday’s hearing starts at 6 p.m. at Vance High, 7600 IBM Drive.

Individual speakers will be allowed three minutes and groups will get 10 minutes to talk. Speakers can sign up by calling 980-343-5139 before noon Tuesday (CMS offices are open Friday, even though students are on spring break), or at the school starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Find details about the CMS priority list at the “2016-17 Budget/Capital Plan” link at www.cms.k12.nc.us

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

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