Parents pushing to change elementary school boundaries

by: Allison Latos Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three-year-old Hazel Stephenson is still too young for elementary school but her parents worry about which CMS school she’ll have to attend.

Elizabeth Lane Elementary is closer to their home on Tuskan Drive but part of the Crown Colony subdivision is required to attend Landsdowne.

"It really hits the most powerfully at the high school level where we are less than a mile from Providence High School but we're bused 9 miles to East Meck High," said her father, Jeremy Stephenson.
Stephenson and his neighbors have been pushing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to change the school boundary for three years.
His neighborhood is not alone.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Channel 9 obtained petitions from eight other neighborhoods requesting their students attend closer schools.

This year, CMS created a rubric system to score different factors like current attendance zone demographics.

All requests but one were denied, including Crown Colony.

The No. 1 factor, distance from home to school, is only worth 25 percent of the total score," said Stephenson.

Scott McCully, the executive director of CMS Planning and Student Placement,  told Eyewitness News proximity is important but so is the price tag of a boundary change.

"The cost associated with transportation and the cost with adding mobile units to that school is a big factor as well," said McCully.
CMS will review boundary change requests twice a year.

The next review will begin in May.

"We haven't put a rule that parents or community members cannot resubmit their request or have that looked at again," said McCully.

"Fortunately, I've got years to continue to fight," said Stephenson.

The deadline for CMS boundary change requests is April 25.

CMS plans to post all requests online for the public to read. Click here to read more from CMS.