Dozens speak out against CMS student assignment plan

By Tom Roussey - bio l email 

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board passed two controversial student assignment plans dealing with elementary schools and another with high schools late Tuesday night.

It's been a raging controversy for a while now and dozens of people addressed the CMS board during the meeting.

There are two major issues the CMS board wanted to address -- one is relieving overcrowding at Eastover Elementary and the other is to keep Myers Park High from having nearly twice as many kids as East Meck High next school year.

Some board members want to remove most of the students at Myers Park's IB magnet program to East Meck to help give more balance to the two schools -- and that's exactly what a majority voted to do Tuesday night.

Some of Myers Park's IB students will go to East Meck next school year, and others will now go to Harding University High School.  The only Myers Park IB students who won't be moved will be the ones actually living in Myers Park's attendance zone.

"Myers Park IB is one of the best programs in the country, and it should be supported, not destroyed!" said Myers Park IB student Derrick Flakoll, who was strongly against being moved to East Meck.

But East Meck backer Kevin Coons argued students will get as good if not better an IB magnet education at East Meck as they will at Myers Park.

"I don't think we are taking any opportunity from an IB student at Myers Park by saying they need to earn their IB at East Meck," Coons said.
The other controversy that's been raging is a CMS plan to help out overcrowding at Eastover Elementary School.   That plan passed 5-3 Tuesday night.
It's a plan some parents strongly support.

"Eastover doesn't have any more room, you can't put any mobiles on it, you can't make it bigger,"

said parent Melissa Kemmer.
But others say CMS's solution is complicated mess that flushes taxpayer money down the toilet. It would make Dilworth Elementary a regular neighborhood school and ship its arts magnet program to First Ward Elementary.  Even students at Selwyn Elementary would be affected.

"Essentially we're now looking at the most disruptive and costly plan that we can come up with to solve the Eastover issue,"

said Mustafa Shah-Khan.