CMS parents challenge district's list for relief schools

- Ask most parents with kids in CMS and they'll tell you a lot of the schools in the district are bursting at the seams. Come this November, you may get the chance to help offer some relief with your vote.

On Tuesday night, parents met with the school board about a possible bond referendum which would help overcrowding issues. The potential referendum comes with a priority list of schools which need the most help. Some parents we spoke with say they are challenging that list.

If you take a ride down IBM drive, you'll notice a line of mobile classrooms before you even see the school.

"35 trailers are just too many. You can barely see the school itself because of the trailers," said Rodger Nolden, a CMS parent.

According to CMS, Olympic high school in south west Mecklenburg County is way over capacity at 152 percent. It’s the most overcrowded school in the district which the reason for all the trailers. But it's far from the top of the priority list. In the line-up for relief, it's ranked number 26. Parents in the area aren't very happy about that.

"I want to see my community represented. I want to see my tax dollars used in my community," said Erika Stubbe, a CMS parent.

Currently, concerned parents are collecting signatures – nearly 1,000 so far, hoping the school board will nudge up their place on the list. That way, construction on a new high school in south west Mecklenburg County would be more likely in the next bond referendum.

"We want to make sure that we don't wait 8-10 years for a relief school at this point. Even if we are in the next bond, we probably won't see a school being constructed for another 3-5 years," said Stubbe.

We asked a member of the school board if they could move that list of priorities around.

"There is no question that the need is critical. Most of our schools are full or over full. I think 80 percent of our schools are at or over capacity. I think half of our schools were built over 50 years ago. It's beyond dispute that our needs are critical," said Elyse Dashew, at large CMS board of education member.

Dashew says the line-up of priorities comes from the district and takes a lot of elements into account. Therefore, putting Olympic high school higher on the list may prove to be a challenge.

Dashew says the last CMS bond was in 2013. She says it was for 290 million dollars.

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