CMS parents voice concerns as district works through reassignment plans

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district held a public hearing Tuesday evening to work through future student reassignment plans -- and more than 50 people signed up to speak.

The reassignment proposals would shuffle students around to different schools, but that’s not the only thing parents and students are concerned about.

Parent and member of South Mecklenburg High School’s improvement team Staci McBride said before the meeting that she’s worried how the reassignment plans will impact the World Languages Magnet Program at the school.

“It’s a big deal,” she said. “A lot of colleges and universities recruit specifically from South Meck because of the program.”

She also said it brings diversity to the school.

“This magnet is a major part of that diversity and the real culture and fabric of South Meck,” she said.

But under a current proposal, the magnet program could move to the future E.E Waddell High School set to open in the 2022-2023 school year -- one of a handful of new schools set to open in the next couple of years.

The proposal would also shift some students in the current Myers Park/South Meck feeder patterns.

“The major concern is not about reassignment, it’s about access to quality programs that we expect, that we currently have,” parent and Garinger graduate Kevin Kreutzer said.

Kreutzer said the district is about to mess up preexisting programs just to fill capacity at new schools.

“It appears that Charlotte-Mecklenburg has done an excellent job building an excellent program at South Mecklenburg but they’re willing to blow that up to fill seats at Waddell,” he said. “We need better programming and equity amongst all schools.”

McBride said she is pushing for the board to reconsider the options.

“Consider what are the rezoning opportunities for the entire district over the next two years. Don’t just move the shells around right now to help solve problems for two schools. Let’s look at the whole district,” she said.

No decision was made Tuesday night. Some school board members indicated they are not comfortable shifting the language program out of South Meck and into E.E. Waddell at this time

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