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Report: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools most segregated in NC

According to a new report from a nonprofit advocacy law group, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the most racially segregated school district in North Carolina.

According to a new report from a nonprofit advocacy law group, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the most racially segregated school district in North Carolina.

The report, which was released by the N.C. Justice Center’s Education & Law Project, says CMS would need to reassign 55-percent of its students in order to achieve racial parity. The 30-page report, which was released Friday, claims that charter schools are fueling segregation in schools across North Carolina.

In all, there are 170 schools in the CMS system, as well as 26 charter schools. In February, a study from the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA with researchers at UNC Charlotte said parents’ desire to put their kids in charter schools is fueling segregation.

RELATED: New research shows charter schools foster segregation

Researchers say roughly 23 percent of families in Mecklenburg County are choosing a private, charter or home school option over public education. Charter schools are tuition-free, but not all charter schools offer free meals or transportation, which limits who is able to attend one.

Income disparity was viewed as one of the largest factors fueling the segregation, with Mecklenburg and Guilford County Schools at the top of the list for income-based segregation.

A CMS spokesperson released the following statement to the Charlotte Observer:

“A major focus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s new plan will be breaking the link between poverty and academic achievement to close gaps and reach educational equity in our community.”

To help desegregate public schools within CMS, the school system implemented phases of a student assignment plan. The new assignment plan will affect approximately 7,000 students, or less than five percent of the district’s 147,000 students, and UNCC researchers said the changes only modestly shift concentrations of poverty.