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CMS To Hold Town Halls On Plan To Diversify Magnets

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

CMS finally has a concrete proposal to pitch as part of its student assignment process.  The district is taking its plan to diversify magnets on the road next week. CMS will host town hall meetings on Monday, October 17 at North and South Mecklenburg High Schools at 7pm.  Meetings are scheduled for the same time at West and East Mecklenburg High Schools November 7.

The entire plan was first presented in a 2.5-hour presentation at last week's board meeting. At the end of which, board member Rhonda Lennon called it the "wonkiest stuff" she's seen in her seven years on the board. (Here's my recap of it.) The town halls will include a much briefer presentation with time for questions afterward.

Superintendent Ann Clark said at that meeting she'd like to double the amount of magnet seats to about 40,000 over the next four years. That's a tall order. The plan calls for an additional 10,870 seats during that time. (See the charts at the end of this post for where CMS thinks those seats may open up.) 

Those numbers look different than what CMS presented at its Tuesday board meeting largely because the charts that night didn't show only new magnet seats. They captured a few hundred existing magnet seats that may change theme or location as some magnets grow.  CMS spokeswoman Renee McCoy says the number of additional magnet seats and where they're located are likely to change, since it’s a "fluid plan."

Be prepared for some new lingo. The plan hinges on socio-economic status that takes into account a lot of factors like income, parents' educational level, English language fluency, and home ownership. The district can get an idea of that based on census information for areas. Families would also be asked to report some information like income.   

The CMS board will hold a public hearing at its meeting on October 25. The board will vote on a magnet plan November 9