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Former Charlotte City Attorney Chosen To Mediate CMS/County Budget Standoff

Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Former Charlotte city attorney Mac McCarley has been chosen to mediate the budget standoff between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board and Mecklenburg County commissioners.

Mac McCarley
Parker Poe
Mac McCarley

CMS launched the dispute resolution process Tuesday, after commissioners approved a budget that puts $56 million in CMS funding into contingency. Commissioners say they’ll release it after CMS produces a detailed plan for improving schools and closing achievement gaps for students of color. CMS leaders say the county is overstepping its legal role and trying to dictate education policy.

The law requires a joint meeting of the two boards, which will take place early next week. Commissioners' Chair George Dunlap and school board Chair Elyse Dashew confirmed Thursday they’ve agreed to work with McCarley on mediation.

McCarley, a lawyer with Parker Poe, was Charlotte's city attorney for 17 years. According to his professional biography, he is certified as a mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission.

Mediation sessions will be private. If there’s no resolution by August 1, the law spells out a formula for county education funding.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.