Forming an CMS Equity Committee is still up in the air

No decision made on Equity Committee

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board (CMS) spent a lot of time talking about equity at its Tuesday night meeting. People were concerned to hear that CMS' Policy Committee decided not to form an equity committee for six months. People in the community came to the meeting to voice their displeasure in that decision.

"Our young African American and Hispanic children are being pushed to the back burner," Taxpayer Antonette Mingo said. "And no one seems to care."

Members of the Policy Committee thought establishing a moratorium on talking about an equity committee would give them time to better define the role of the equity committee. People believe now is the time to re-establish the equity committee.

"Since CMS abandoned the equity policy in place in the mid 2000's," First Baptist Church West Pastor Ricky Woods said. "There has been a steady decline in student achievement."

Dr. Ruby Jones is chair of the policy committee. She believes forming another equity committee won't get the job done to make things better for students. She thinks it doesn't make sense to create more committee members and not people who can do the work.

"Sitting around a table gets us no further into the doing of what we already know," CMS Board Member Dr. Ruby Jones said. "To improve the outcomes of our children."

Research shows CMS schools in certain zip codes don't have the same resources as other schools. Many people say it's been like that for years. Board members who are for re-establishing the equity committee believe the committee would offer transparency and accountability.

"Members of the equity committee would review and discuss CMS data and programs," CMS School Board member Carol Sawyer said. "In order to monitor the district's progress."

Teachers also showed up at the school board meeting. The president of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE) says what will the committee come up with that has not been revealed. Lyde says instead of forming one equity committee - why not have a committee at each school.

"My kids can't wait on another committee," CMAE President Erlene Lyde said. "Gathering the information whose members will not have an intimate knowledge of my students and particular needs."

Three of the four policy committee members agreed to wait six months before talking about forming an equity committee. If six months pass and the policy committee still doesn’t want an equity committee - it won’t happen.

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