Parents react to CMS superintendent's phase 2 of student assignm - | WBTV Charlotte

Parents react to CMS superintendent's phase 2 of student assignment plan

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district (CMS) parents are speaking out about Superintendent Ann Clark's phase two of the student assignment plan.  The plan will impact students attending 75 CMS schools and aims to improve diversity at 21 of the schools. 

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One plan has students who were zoned for Hough High School forced to attend Hopewell High School, and some parents aren't thrilled about that. 

"There is a certain stigma that I have heard from parents about Hopewell and Hough - comparing the two," Black Political Caucus Education Chair Dee Rankin said.

Rankin has a daughter who attends Hopewell.  He thinks the proposed switch is a good thing and will make Hopewell High School better.

"It would create more diversity at Hopewell I think," Rankin said. "It will create a better education environment for kids to experience other socioeconomic statuses."

Parents whose kids are zoned for Hough High are now embracing the fact their kids may attend Hopewell High School. Lisa Sellers is one of those parents, but she has heard parents thinking about leaving CMS because of the proposed student assignment plan.

"And even looking at private schools," Sellers said. "You only have one set of high school years and you want them to be the best."

Sellers wanted her son to attend Hough High School, not just because of academics, but because of athletics too.

"My son is a football player," Sellers said. "They have a better football program at Hough, that's something we have to deal with."

Clark wants Hough High parents to look at the bigger picture.  She says there is value added attending Hopewell High. 

"See not just what else is happening to their child," Clark said. "But what is happening to that entire school that their student is being assigned to."

The superintendent says there is a distinguished academic program at Hopewell High that Hough High doesn't have.  Clark thinks her proposed plan will increase opportunities for students.

Phase two of the student assignment plan only impacts 75 schools, but what about the other schools?

Clark says the other school's boundaries could be touched after a 2017 bond referendum is passed. If passed, the bonds would pay for new schools, which means more changes could happen.

"So to touch a particular community twice in a six-to-seven year period time doesn't seem prudent," Clark said

CMS School board Chairperson Mary McCray calls phase two incomplete.  McCray wants to know exactly how much the student assignment plan will cost and how many students will be impacted.

She wants to know all the answers to her questions before she feels comfortable voting on Clark's recommendation. "A recommendation can be accepted, rejected or modified," McCray said. 

The school board is scheduled to vote on phase two at the end of May.

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