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Charlotte Area

CMS Could Delay Start of School in 2020 For Republican National Convention

elementary school students
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools could delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year because of the Republican National Convention.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools plan to ask the General Assembly to possibly delay the start of the 2020 school year for all or some of its schools, due to the Republican National Convention.

The RNC will be held in Charlotte Aug. 24 to 27 in uptown Charlotte. That's the week before Labor Day, and if CMS follows past calendars, that would likely be the first week of school.

Six years ago, Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention. That was held the week after Labor Day. CMS did not have any major alterations to its calendar during that convention.

CMS lobbyist Charles Jeter said Monday night that the school district's scheduling committee will meet next month to start planning around the RNC.

One possibility, he said, would be to ask for a change only for schools in and around uptown. He said it's possible that the entire school district could be impacted, though he doesn't know.

"Would the convention really impact Ardrey Kell High? Would it impact The Pallisades?" Jeter said.

Two factors are driving the concern over the RNC, Jeter said.

One is the potential difficulty of starting school when the convention starts. The other is that the RNC could  attract large protests because of President Trump.

Jeter pointed to the closeness of the City Council's 6-5 vote to host the convention this summer as a sign of how controversial the RNC could be. If the protests turned violent, a number of schools - even those outside of uptown - could be impacted.

Jeter said one challenge is that the state mandates how many days students are in school. The state also doesn't want school districts to have school into mid or late June because it wants families to be able to go on summer vacations.

The City Council discussed the possible calendar change as part of a discussion about its legislative agenda Monday night.