CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Parents of students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system learned Tuesday that 7,114 students would have to change schools if the board’s proposed reassignment plan passes later this month.
About 100 people signed up to address the board at a public hearing on the proposals Tuesday, with some parents waiting as long as five hours for their turn to speak.
“We are losing these kids,” one parent said. “Why would you do that?!”
Heated words and eruptions of applause followed parents and students alike as they finally had an opportunity to speak directly with CMS leaders at the Charlotte Government Center Tuesday night.
Many of those who spoke are strongly against the proposed changes.
“What was proposed two weeks ago is unacceptable,” said another parent.
“This is an idea, not a plan, and our children deserve better,” said one person.
Several speakers were encouraged by the goal of balancing socioeconomic status in local schools.
“We believe such diversity is important for students learning in the 21st century,” one parent said.
More than 2,000 people have attended 23 community meetings on the proposals in the past week, but Tuesday’s hearing was the first of only two times parents will be able to speak directly to the board.
“If you had come to us six months ago, you could have gotten some really great proposals on the table,” said a concerned parent.
Superintendent Ann Clark says most of the impact would hit elementary school students, where more than 3,000 students would have to change schools.
The board is set to vote on the proposed changes May 24.