• Overcrowded Matthews school forces midyear shuffling

    By: Joe Bruno

    Updated:

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - A Matthews school is so crowded, school officials are adding teachers and switching young students into new classes.

    It's just adding to the debate between suburban towns and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

    [Bill giving towns around Charlotte charter school authority becomes law]

    [CMS pulls capital funding for 4 towns that could build charter schools]

    A teacher workday meant no school for kids at Matthews Elementary on Wednesday, but the class they return to Thursday might be different from the class they are in next month.

    "That could be a little concerning," parent Chris Taylor said.

    CMS officials say there was an increase in enrollment, so the school is adding three new teachers and an ESL position.

    "It's a good school, but I worry about that individual attention that they may not get," Taylor said.  

    A very populated school and trailers are why the Town of Matthews is worried about the Municipal Concerns Act.

    It's CMS' response to some North and South Mecklenburg schools being allowed to form their own charter schools.

    It puts Matthews at the back of the line for school funding if the town doesn't agree to a 15-year moratorium on its own schools.

    "It's punitive," Matthews Town Commissioner Jeff MIller said. "The Town of Matthews pays the same taxes as everyone else, yet CMS has committed to not investing in our town."

    CMS and town leaders had an open dialogue about the act over breakfast Wednesday morning.

    Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said that despite the school board's decision, it isn't fair to say CMS doesn't care about suburban kids.

    "We are trying to balance the interest of 148,000 kids in a community well over a million people," Wilcox said.

    The Towns of Matthews and Mint Hill haven't made any decisions on whether they will form their own charter schools.

    Cornelius and Huntersville have formed exploratory committees.

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