Parents, County Commissioner at odds over CMS district improvements

- Parents of students at CMS schools on Charlotte's west side are demanding change, both inside and outside the classroom. Parents say they will take action themselves if the CMS school board doesn't come through.

"Shame on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board. None of them go down there anymore," shouted one parent at a community forum.

About 50 parents packed a North Charlotte church, many of them saying they're tired of low test scores and crumbling schools on the west side.

"I am seriously thinking of home schooling," said another parent.

The education town hall was hosted by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Vilma Leake, who says 58% of the county budget goes towards CMS. She told the crowd of parents that she is tired of the money disappearing at CMS.

"They are selling buildings, selling land, we don't know what they are doing with the money that they get. They don't have to tell us," said Commissioner Leake.

Commissioner Leake wants the cash to bring improvements to much more than what's being taught in the classroom.

"The evidence is there that the buildings are not in order," said Commissioner Leake.

This past January Leake toured Bruns Academy and snapped photos of water damage to a library. Since then, she says little has changed.

"The facility is still dilapidated. We need a new school there," said Commissioner Leake.

But Bruns Academy and several other west side schools aren't on the capital improvement plan this year. Until they are added to the list Commissioner Leake is urging parents to vote NO on capital bonds.

"The black community has supported bonds every time and we are on the losing end when it comes to the needs," said Commissioner Leake.

Commissioner Leake wants issues brought up by parents to be discussed at a school board meeting scheduled for Tuesday. School bonds will be voted on during the November election.

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