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Meck. Comm. James Looks to Trim Current CMS Budget

Bill James says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools doesn't need the money because school enrollment grew by half of what was expected this year. He also refers to a recent CMS audit that found 62 percent of free and reduced priced lunch applications did not meet federal guidelines to qualify for the benefit. But the district, following U.S.D.A. guidelines, only audited three percent of applications. James says, "The total increase in students versus the total number of free and reduced lunch students are off so significantly, 50 percent in one case and 62 percent in another, that this problem needs to be fixed." So James wants to change the guidelines the county uses to account for funding to CMS. CMS board chairman Joe White refuses to comment on tape. He says James is using the media to push an agenda that doesn't have support on the board of commissioners.