CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg school (CMS) district wants to win back former students who are now in charter, private and home schools.
"If you are doing choice right," CMS Chief Operating Officer Millard House said. "People will come."
House has reviewed CMS' alternative schools and claims the district can do more to compete with other schools in the area. He wants to offer possibly more vocational training and open another Performance Learning Center site. The Performance Learning Center (PLC), located on Graham Street, was the first one to open up in NC. There are now five in the state. That type of school allows students, who don't succeed in a traditional school, do classes online and to be in a setting that is not so structured like a typical school.
The center in CMS has about 200 students who attend there and has a waiting list. House believes if another PLC opens up that will be a step in the right direction to become more marketable in the Charlotte area.
"Make sure we have a diverse menu of programs," House said. "Throughout the district people want and appreciate and want to be a part of."
While House thinks this is the way to go, others believe CMS should embrace the different choices parents have and not compete with them.
Linda Cruz is opening up Charlotte Choice Charter school in Charlotte in the fall. She is the director of the charter school. WBTV asked her thoughts about CMS trying to steal her future students.
"I wish them much success," Cruz said. "But the bottomline is, and we have known this for years, one size does not fit all."
CMS knows to be more competitive it will cost money. House hopes the extra money will be placed in next year's budget to pay for another PLC and to make other improvements to the district's existing alternative schools.
CMS is also applying for grants to help the district be more marketable.