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CMS And Charter School Given Deadline To Settle Dispute

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Veritas charter school and the CMS school board have until December 10 to resolve a dispute over a building lease, or county commissioners will decide the issue. A recent revision of a state statute gives the commission that authority. At a special hearing Tuesday, Chairman Trevor Fuller let CMS and Veritas’ attorneys know he was upset the two parties couldn’t work it out and got the commission involved.

“We shouldn’t be in a position to mediate lawyers. We don’t have time for this,” Fuller said.

Veritas and CMS officials asked the commission to give them more time to resolve the dispute on their own. The dispute surfaced after Veritas signed an agreement to lease the former Villa Heights Elementary School building from CMS. But school officials now want to turn the building into a center for students who have either dropped out of school or are on the verge of dropping out. Veritas asked county commissioners to step in. After the hearing, CMS attorney Chris Campbell and Veritas’ attorney Nicole Gardner, said they are working on a solution.

“That would be in everyone’s best interest,” Campbell said. “They want to give us time to work together to see if we can resolve this in terms of somewhere for Veritas to be next school year.”

“The folks at Veritas are educators who love their kids and the folks at CMS are educators who love their kids so if that’s the case, we ought to be able to come together and reach a sensible solution,” Gardner said.

Fuller says if an agreement is not reached by his deadline, the commission will hold a special hearing on Dec. 15 to resolve the matter.

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.