CMS Supt. Gorman talks about school preps

By Jeff Rivenbark - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Superintendent Peter Gorman says the new school year will be challenging since the district will be operating on less funding this year.

During an interview Tuesday on "WBTV News This Morning," Gorman said CMS will be operating on $80 million less than the 2008-09 school year.

As a result, he said parents should be reminded that things may not be the same in their child's school as it was last year.  For example, class sizes may be bigger at some schools.

Gorman also talked about the growing health concerns over H1N1 (Swine Flu).  He said district leaders have been talking regularly with a variety of health experts including the Mecklenburg County Health Director about the best way to handle any outbreak of the disease at a school.  On Wednesday, CMS will unveil its plans about how it will respond during an outbreak of H1N1.

Since the district is still in the process of hiring teachers, Gorman said some classrooms may have to start next Tuesday with substitute teachers.  The superintendent said he's instructed his staff to focus on hiring the "right teacher" rather than trying to fill the position with the person who can go in the classroom the "quickest."

The number one challenge Gorman said CMS has this year is to ensure each student achieves at least one year's academic growth during the coming school year.  He says that's often a challenge if the student has a lack of drive or doesn't have appropriate support at home.

Gorman said the school district can't do everything to make a child excel in school.  He says a good education is a "partnership" between the child's school and the parents or guardians.

Gorman said parents should reinforce at home the work in which the child is doing in the classroom by reading to their child regularly and reviewing their homework.

"This job is too big for us to do alone without their support," Gorman said.