CMS Kicks Off Magnet School Lottery

CHARLOTTE (WBTV) - The CMS magnet lottery is now open. The district held a magnet school fair Saturday at Phillip O. Berry Academy.

The magnet fair is a chance for administrators to introduce interested parents to the magnet program. Many parents think the program is a way to get their children the best education.

At the fair, parents get to compare ten magnet programs side-by-side to find the best fit for their child.

But parents also have to consider what's going on in the district right now. Because of budget cuts, CMS already voted to move some magnet programs to different locations. Now district officials are considering a proposal to eliminate busing for magnet school students.

The busing program was already scaled back but eliminating busing would save CMS about 10 million dollars.

While that money is much-needed, it would also mean about 12,000 students would need to find a new way to school, or change schools and leave the magnet program.

If students start leaving the program, director Dr. Jeff Linker says the program would need fewer teachers and that could make a huge impact on the overall program.

Superintendent Peter Gorman will present his magnet school budget plan Tuesday. The school board is expected to have a final decision on cuts at its January 25th meeting.  The deadline to enter the lottery is February 7th. That means parents will have time to change their applications if the new decisions aren't to their liking.