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Compromise Sought In Dispute Over Charter School Bill

CMS plans to add video surveillance focused on mobile classrooms like these.
Trailers at David Cox Elementary School in north Charlotte.

A Matthews town commissioner and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools representative have proposed a compromise over the town's support for a charter school bill which would include the construction of a new school building within 10 years. 

In exchange for Matthews pulling its support for HB514, the bill that would allow for the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill to create their own charter school outside of CMS, the school district would have to build a school in Matthews, commit to having a municipal governing body approve student assignment changes, and create a 5-year plan to replace trailers at schools in the town. Matthews would also agree to support HB866, a bill that would establish a bond referendum of $1.9 billion for school construction projects around the state. 

Matthews Commissioner John Urban and CMS District Representative Sean Strain are asking for the compromise proposal to be given an up-down vote by both respective boards. The proposal is also contingent on a deal being struck before the state's General Assembly reconvenes May 16. 

CMS board chair Mary McCray tells WFAE that aspects of this proposal are similar to a compromise that CMS had previously offered Matthews and added that the CMS board could not "abdicate" its authority over student assignments, saying that would be "unlawful."

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