CHARLOTTE, NC (WBT)V - On this July 4th holiday a group called SMART (South Mecklenburg Alliance of Responsible Taxpayers) is ready to be liberated from Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) district.
Members claim the school district is too big and out of touch.
"Our public school system across America," SMART member Scott Babbidge said. "Just hasn't adapted or evolved to match what today in the future requires and this school district (South Mecklenburg Independent School District) will be very creative and forward looking."
Babbidge says SMART is serious about its efforts. It has a name - South Mecklenburg Independent School district. It has created a charter stating its mission and it is ready to take the message to the streets to gain support.
"Showing the public what the new independent school district would look like," Babbidge said. "What the trustees would look like, what the CEO would look like. and those responsible and then even going so far as to start laying out budget, to show where we can save money and where we can take advantage of privatization."
The group wants its Board of Trustees named by September.
It would take an act of the General Assembly for the group SMART to be free of CMS. That's why the group is doing all its homework now to prove this can be done to state lawmakers.
"We're doing step two," Babbidge sad. "Before the legislature does step one."
Some think the reason for people in the south side of the county wanting to break away is to be free from a majority minority school district like CMS.
"They want to be associated with more students and children like theirs" Retired CMS teacher Carolyn James said
Babbidge claims that's not true. He argues the independent district would consist of about 50,000 students in schools that would stretch from Olympic High School to Rocky River High School.
"That is a very, very diverse and very large area." Babbidge said.
The legislature could address this issue next January.
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