CMS School board calls special meeting to talk charter school ap - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS School board calls special meeting to talk charter school appeal

Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) District is fighting a complaint filed by Veritas Charter School. The school board called a special meeting for Monday at 4 pm to discuss the situation and weigh their legal options concerning the matter.

School board chairperson Mary McCray wrote Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Trevor Fuller a letter on November 19th requesting to "delay any trial regarding the lease agreement between CMS and Veritas Community School and instead take on of the steps listed below."

Veritas Charter signed a lease with CMS to occupy the old Villa Heights Elementary School. CMS suddenly decided it needed the school to educate CMS high school students who are falling behind. The district told Veritas it had to be out of the building by June 2016. Veritas disagreed with CMS' actions and are appealing the decision, stating it's not fair.

Charter school leaders want county commissioners to decide who's right and who's wrong.

CMS argues the county has no authority in this matter. The letter states both parties already agreed to the terms of the contract and signed it. It states if CMS needed the building it would give Veritas ample notice to vacate. CMS says since both parties agreed to the terms, there should be no dispute and no need for county commissioners to step in. 

"The school board wants us to say that, but we haven't said that," County Commissioner George Dunlap said. "We obviously decided that we want to hear it and to hear both sides and that is what I expect us to do."

The county agreed to hear both sides of the case on December 1st, but CMS wants commissioners to amend that meeting. 

In the letter, it gives county commissioners the option to decide they don't have jurisdiction over this matter and throw the appeal out. If commissioners don't agree to that, then CMS wants to limit the hearing on December 1 to just discussing if county commissioners have the authority to intervene.

"The school board can't dictate to the county commission who we hear, and for what reason we hear them," Dunlap said.

The last option CMS is suggesting is to delay the appeal altogether and have the courts decide what to do.

"If we delay it," Dunlap said. "I think it will be an undue hardship on the plaintiff because further delaying it means that they won't have time to make decisions."

Veritas is scheduled to move in the building in December but that could all change. 

If commissioners don't agree with CMS' options, the school district is willing to take this matter to the courts to decide.

The special meeting will take place on the fifth floor of the government center.

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