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School leaders vote to pass final draft of new south Charlotte school boundaries

The changes will help make way for two new schools in south Charlotte that are being built to address overcrowding.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education passed the third and final draft of the new south Charlotte school boundaries and feeder patterns in a 7-2 vote on Tuesday, with no changes made. 

The plan was passed as is, despite pleas from families to make changes to the some of the boundary lines and feeder patterns. 

Tuesday night's meeting was long and emotional — 75 people signed up to speak on the new boundaries and most were unhappy with the vote. The changes will affect 27 schools in addition to the two new relief schools being built. 

The vote came after months of debate and several different versions of the map. 

The boundary change proposals are in response to overcrowding in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district due to a significant increase in population in the southern portion of Mecklenburg County.

Two relief schools, a middle school and a high school, are being built for the growth but boundary and feeder pattern changes are needed to accommodate the new schools.

"No single school should have the burden of opening both the relief middle and the relief high school, one or the other," Maggie Donofrio, a Polo Ridge Elementary School parent, said. 

However, the approved map has some students at Polo Ridge going to the new middle school and high school. Parents pointed out that some students will be going to up to three new schools in the next few years under the plan.

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The boundary changes are a complex issue with no easy solution and board members pointed out that it's impossible to make everyone happy. 

CMS has worked to address the concerns of parents, but balancing what parents would like for their students with the realities and constraints the district is under has proved challenging. 

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The plan's final version includes some concessions and positive changes for other families. 

For example, rising seniors will automatically finish at their current school for their final year, and rising juniors will have the option to stay at their current school or be assigned to the relief high school. Although there is no sibling guarantee in place, students may apply for a transfer without transportation.

The changes took into account commute time for households to schools and diversity of socioeconomic status, among other things. 

The school district has in-depth details of the final plan and an interactive map on its website.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram  

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