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Charlotte Area

Two Views On North Mecklenburg's Share Of CMS Bonds

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Diedra Laird / The Charlotte Observer
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The nearly $1 billion school bond package that goes before voters in November is getting a lot of push back from residents in North Mecklenburg. Huntersville and Cornelius town commissioners recently voted to oppose the bond and the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is against it as well.

 

On Charlotte Talks this week, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett said this bond package will cause residents to abandon CMS.

 

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Credit David Boraks file photo / WFAE
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett

"There's a large component that has to do with a magnet program that underserves the most at-risk children that get left behind in that process," Puckett said. "Secondly, the process was horribly flawed and I think extraordinarily political and that wasn't wise. But the biggest problem is it does turn its back on North Mecklenburg and I think that will be disastrous down the road for CMS."

 

The bond would include money to build 17 new schools and undertake 12 renovation and expansion projects. Nine projects are slated for North Mecklenburg, including five new schools. Also speaking on Charlotte Talks, former CMS Superintendent Ann Clark defended the bond package saying North Mecklenburg has received its share of bond funding in the past.

 

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Credit CMS
Former CMS Superintendent Ann Clark

"Looking back since 2000 to 2013, the community has supported over $375 million in bonds to support District 1," Clark said.  "Since 2007, 1,940 new magnet seats have been added to support and give more choices in District 1."

 

Clark says this bond package will add 1,500 magnet seats in the north. She also pointed to the new student assignment plan which she says will reduce overcrowding in North Mecklenburg by shifting students to schools with more room.